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Tuesday, 09 July 2013 22:41

Chaucer Technology College: An absolutely disgraceful second OFSTED Report

OFSTED has carried out a follow up Inspection, after Chaucer Technology College was placed in Special Measures in April. I wrote an article at the time describing this as "an avoidable accident; waiting to happen". The follow-up inspection can only be described as one of further decline from its previous dreadful position. The headlines:

"The local authority statement of action is not fit for purpose; The school’s action plan is not fit for purpose; The local authority has failed to support governors and the acting principal effectively; Governors recognise that they have been negligent in their monitoring; proposals initiated by governors before the inspection to become a sponsored academy have stalled, owing to the sizeable budgetary deficit - Despite having secured a sponsor, the academy order has yet to be signed and it is unlikely that the target date of December 2013 will be met - This is because the local authority, the proposed sponsors, the Department for Education and governors have yet to agree on how the deficit will be fully eradicated - In the meantime, four out of the five new senior posts within the school, including that of principal are temporary duties; The local authority’s lack of urgency in this matter is unacceptable." .

The Acting Principal appears to have been presented with a poisoned chalice: "Governors consequently appointed you from your substantive role as vice-principal to that of acting principal. You have made no new teaching appointments since this time. However, a considerable number of staff will be leaving at the end of this term as a result of budgetary enforced re-structuring".  A concluding sentence reads: "Unreasonable demands have been made of the acting principal in respect of the budgetary deficit, who in turn has been unable to assert sufficient influence to move matters forward. This has resulted in her spending a disproportionate amount of her time attempting to resolve an intractable problem, which now needs to be urgently addressed by officers of the local authority, the Department for Education and the proposed sponsors so as to secure the necessary rapid improvements to which students within the school are entitled".

Kent County Council argues that it has the ability to turn round failing schools rather than hand them over to academy groups, a principle which I would love to endorse. However, this abject failure by KCC hardly supports the case that they have the ability to change schools. As the OFSTED Report records: Governors recognise that they have been negligent in their monitoring duties and now wish to strengthen their influence, knowledge and expertise. To this end they have sought an external review of governance from the local authority. This has not been prioritised by the local authority and no date has been offered. Leaders are still waiting to know if the local authority intends to establish an Interim Executive Board to assume responsibility for the finances and leadership of the school. The local authority’s lack of urgency in this matter is unacceptable.

So we have a failed school placed in limbo for what looks like a whole year by KCC's own failures. We await the Local Authority's apology to the children of the Chaucer Technology College for the dreadful state in which they find themselves.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 21:54

3 comments

  • Comment Link Thursday, 20 February 2014 23:47 posted by Richard Davis

    This school is a shame, and ******* is the worst of them all. Over the course of the last year, *********** boot out all of the best academic staff that the school had (The Sauntry's, Gipson, Ward-Fuller, Dean and Morris to name but a few), since which time the communication emphasis, which is religious, is simply to crown about school uniform policy.

    Our son hasn't been set more than ten homework tasks this entire academic year! ************* about one failed academisation process, and a second that appears to be scuppered in today's KM Gazette, where it is reported that the school is likely to close in September this year. Where on earth they are going to re-home some 800+ students in the Canterbury district is beyond me.

    Appalling, appalling, appalling. I can only hope that the senior management staff leave education so that they cannot ruin other children's lives in this way again.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 December 2013 02:31 posted by John Smith

    My daughter is also experiencing the hellish nature of the structure of teaching and pastoral care available at The Chaucer School.I feel sorry for the large number of other students facing the lifelong consequences that this school offers, with inadequate teaching and improper organisation. I would strongly advise all prospective parents to avoid the chaos Chaucer Technology School provides. PETER: I have no problem with this advice. There is some subsequent information here - draw your own conclusions: http://www.kentadvice.co.uk/peters-blog/news-a-comments/item/590-academies-and-free-schools.html

  • Comment Link Saturday, 13 July 2013 12:49 posted by E Young

    My son, aged 16, has chosen to leave this school and continue enforced education at Canterbury College as he and many other pupils feel that The Chaucer Technology school has let them down and therefore have no wish to remain there for further studies. My son states that his year group were "totally unprepared and let down" with regards to their GCSE History exam taken recently- they have had a succession of supply teachers covering and it appears they were unskilled in the curriculum. My son and others have no or little chance of gaining this qualification through no fault of their own. It appears that the majority of the staff have realised that this establishment is of poor standard and have chosen to teach elsewhere!! Where does that leave our children who will find it difficult enough in the current economic climate to gain work, college and university places. Shame on you Chaucer!!! PETER: how sad not only for your son but for so many others who have been betrayed by the school and KCC. No doubt most of those responsible will sail serenely on to the next calamity for our young people. Can I place on record how sorry I am for your son; I doubt anyone else will express regret (in case they are blamed!).

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