This week saw The Marlowe Academy come in as Kent's worst performing school at Key Stage 3 SATs (at 14 yrs) to add to its woes of being in the bottom 6 schools in the UK at Key Stage 4 (Gcses at 16 years). We seem to have spent £20 million pounds producing a 'Blair' Academy that has all the facilities but is still a failing school. Why wasn't the 'Ramsgate Conyngham Marlowe' set up closed and Ellington Girls developed as an Academy on the simple basis that it makes more sense to re-inforce success than failure. Marlowe's Principal, Ian Johnston was quoted as saying about League Tables "they are a no-brainer." Such a profound comment begs the question that he has perhaps spent too long in Thanet and at The Marlowe?
Whilst on school news, I decided to look at last month's Ofsted Report on St George's Broadstairs, as a taxi driver told me it was not too hot.
I was amazed to find that the HMI running these inspections is required to write to pupils at the end of it. What has the world come to when youngsters seriously take an interest in such matters as good practice being spread from subject departments instead of footie, girls and a quick fag behind the bicycle sheds! I copy the letter below for interest and will leave you to read between the lines!
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
1 February 2008
1 February 2008
Inspection of St George's Church of England School, Broadstairs CT10 2LH
Thank you for the friendly welcome you gave us when we visited St George's recently and your willingness to show us your work and talk to us about your experiences at school.
As you know, we came to see how well St George's is doing and I am glad of this opportunity to let you know what we found. Your school provides you with a quality of education that is satisfactory and improving. You were keen to tell us that you enjoy school and that recent changes to the curriculum have given you a choice of subjects and activities that support your interests and ambitions. We saw some outstanding teaching and much that was good, especially when the pace and the variety of approach kept you actively involved and happy to learn.
We could see that most of you appreciate the importance of a healthy lifestyle and treat each other with consideration. It was good to know that you feel safe when you come to school and are confident that your teachers and tutors will help you if you hit a problem and give you good care and guidance. We appreciated your readiness to take on responsibilities, especially sixth formers, and to play an active role in the community beyond your school.
So that you do as well as you possibly can, we have asked the school to ensure that:
you are helped to do better in English, mathematics and science the way in which your work is marked always makes it clear how you can improve, and teachers always set you work that matches your abilities and challenges you the most successful approaches to the management of departments are spread right across the school to ensure that your learning is as good as it can be.
You can make an important contribution to your school's success by ensuring that you are always attentive and responsive in lessons and helping to ensure that no one is disruptive or makes others anxious whether intentionally or carelessly.
I look forward to watching St George's progress from strength to strength.
With best wishes
Her Majesty's Inspector