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> What has gone wrong at Kennet School?
Sherlock
post Mar 7 2014, 07:23 AM
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Kennet School (motto 'Excellence Through Endeavour') really seems to be struggling

http://www.newburytoday.co.uk/2014/former-...-must-do-better

Has headteacher Paul ***** lost the plot? And if so, will his salary (£150,000 in 2010) be cut? Hopefully it includes a performance element.

http://www.newburytoday.co.uk/2010/old-news-article-14481

At least he knows what they'd do in Singapore in this situation

http://www.newburytoday.co.uk/2010/old-news-article-12698

Of course, Kennet is now an academy so is largely independent of West Berks Council. That's worked out well. Can we expect other local schools who grabbed the extra cash associated with academy status to suffer the same fate? Only time will tell.

*In the first article Mr **** is described as 'Kennet headteacher'. In 2010 he was responsible for both Kennet and Trinity, which is when he gained his 'superhead' status. Is he now just a 'head'?
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Sherlock
post Mar 7 2014, 07:24 AM
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Love the way that the forum has censored MrDick's name!
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Strafin
post Mar 7 2014, 09:05 AM
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Wow, that's quite a drop!
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spartacus
post Mar 7 2014, 12:40 PM
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Not sure he can be entirely held responsible for the slip in standards, or that he can be thought to have 'lost the lost'. From a couple of the TV programmes that have been on recently following young teachers you wonder if it's parents that have completely lost the plot and they aren't cracking down strongly enough on their offspring and teaching them that respect is earned it's not 'a Right' and drilled into them the value of actually knuckling down in school if you want to get on in the world.

There's some good kids in all schools, including Kennet, but there's an increasing and disturbing number of feckless teenagers who think the world owes them a living and you don't have to work hard if you just want to 'get by' in the workplace, rather than putting in effort to be as good as you can be. I despair at some of the slack jawed mumbling 19-20 somethings that are out there... and those school fly-on-the-wall TV programmes don't exactly help change attitudes.


As for Mr D, I think the title of SuperHead had been given to him way before 2010. Didn't he have something to do with a number of other schools in the area and that probably helped get him his OBE in 2000 for Services to Education?

I suspect his power of command over all things at so many different schools is on the wane though as he's spread himself a bit thin recently, so isn't quite as omnipresent as he was when he was able to concentrate on the one or two schools. Having a strong leader at the school helps but it's not just about one character.


As for the school, maybe now that it's an Academy and has had a fall in standards it will use the control it has to get rid of the teachers who aren't cutting it and push out the kids that aren't prepared to put in a decent shift. In previous years those kids may have been pushed towards Trinity. But as they've got better marks than Kennet (quite a change from a few years ago) they won't get in there either?
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On the edge
post Mar 7 2014, 01:45 PM
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I think you are quite right, the declining quality of the raw material had much to do with it. In spite of that, Mr D seems to have accepted responsibility himself; a refreshing change for a public service senior! One 'must try harder' is quite recoverable and his past record suggests he'll do it. His involvement at Trinity had worked wonders, yes he may have been too stretched, but in reality, this is a small, albeit regrettable price to pay.


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Sherlock
post Mar 7 2014, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Mar 7 2014, 12:40 PM) *
There's some good kids in all schools, including Kennet, but there's an increasing and disturbing number of feckless teenagers who think the world owes them a living and you don't have to work hard if you just want to 'get by' in the workplace, rather than putting in effort to be as good as you can be. I despair at some of the slack jawed mumbling 19-20 somethings that are out there... and those school fly-on-the-wall TV programmes don't exactly help change attitudes.


I wouldn't believe everything you see on TV. Have you actually been into a local school recently and spoken to the students? Or had anything to with the education system, via a parents' association for example? You seem woefully out of touch and that the idea that primary teaching and parenting has collapsed so dramatically in the school's catchment area in between OFSTED reports is, I'm afraid, idiotic.

You presumably attribute the school's earlier success to better parenting and primary school teaching. In that case, why was PaulDick awarded an OBE and a very substantial pay rise. Do try to think things through before bashing your keyboard.
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On the edge
post Mar 7 2014, 04:41 PM
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Not sure about anyone else, but yes, I've been into local schools, spoken to teachers and pupils. Is today recent enough? I also have had significant involvement in the transition between school and work programmes in other parts of the country. There is something in what Spartacus is saying. Yes, of course the higher end will strive and succeed and yes, parental input helps. However, it's what happens to the rest that creates a monumental problem for society. This segment is growing and there is growing recognition that a big part of the problem is down to poor parental influence. Rather than simply repeating what you read in the Daily Mail, why don't you get more involved? Frankly, even with the present result Paul **** can demonstrate a far greater success than the likes of Fred Goodwin!


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Ziggy
post Mar 7 2014, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Mar 7 2014, 10:05 AM) *
Wow, that's quite a drop!

I don't have any vested interest in Kennet school but please remember that this is more of a case of Ofsted moving the goal posts rather than the school getting worse. The last goal post shifting was in January 2014 and it's now not possible for a school to be "good" if data in any subset is less than the average for England. Our esteemed Secretary of State for Education expects all schools to be above average and his poor grasp of maths has been noted by the Education Select Committee. In the circumstances, I think Mr **** has been quite gracious.
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spartacus
post Mar 7 2014, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE (Sherlock @ Mar 7 2014, 02:33 PM) *
Have you actually been into a local school recently and spoken to the students? Or had anything to with the education system, via a parents' association for example? You seem woefully out of touch and that the idea that primary teaching and parenting has collapsed so dramatically in the school's catchment area in between OFSTED reports is, I'm afraid, idiotic.

You presumably attribute the school's earlier success to better parenting and primary school teaching. In that case, why was PaulDick awarded an OBE and a very substantial pay rise. Do try to think things through before bashing your keyboard.

pffft.... wind your neck in..... BOTH of my kids went to Kennet School from Spurcroft with my youngest leaving Sixth Form just two years back and during all those years at the school both wife and I were reasonably active with the PTA.. My daughter did well at the school. Sadly my son was polar opposite. Never going to be a rocket scientist.....

Despite my best efforts he came away with an attitude of expecting the world to be handed to him on a plate because that's what he and his mates believed and they were given unrealistic expectations by some of the well meaning teachers who regularly blew smoke up his and the other boys he went around with alimentary canals.

Unfortunately the mates that he was hanging around with at that time were amongst the group of slack jawed muppets that needed a boot up the rear end at that school.
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motormad
post Mar 7 2014, 07:04 PM
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I can see things were about to kick off.

laugh.gif

You can all wind your neck in. Since I was probably the most recent person to come out of school on this forum, I also went to Kennet.
I found unless you fitted into their neat little boxes or normality (which I clearly don't as I have something wrong with me) then you were not given the help or consistent quality advice you needed.

I was a bit gobby but not violent or outwardly disrespectful and I was shunned, off and on report and never given help when I genuinely needed (and asked for) it.
The news article states teachers not marking work regularly, well again that as may be the case, I found just as often that I was late with homework, it was not marked, so it was happy days for me.

I had glandular fever during my GCSEs which didn't help but I went away with average C grades.. I'm now I work in IT earning above the national average. Did School prepare me at all for any part of my working life...? No, not really.

School paints only a very small part of the picture.

I don't think blasting generations is very fair.. fly on the wall documentaries are the worst places to be looking at any age groups... you seen come dine with me??? And the sort of crap that goes on, on that show? laugh.gif

When I was there it was more of a military academy than a school. Very much a yes sir, no sir, be quiet children kind of place. Mobile phones were BANNED entirely (even at lunch breaks which I think in this day and age is completely retarded) and you weren't so much as allowed to take the very itchy and sticky jumper off without asking.

Parents often blame the schools but myself being somewhat of a kid still, blame the parents. My Mum was a very good person in terms of what she wanted me to be and had my best intentions always in her mind.. despite me (still) not thinking that everything she did was the best option she tried.. and I turned out ok. Then again, I had a very small (3) group of friends and none of my friends were into any crazy stuff either... you grow up as a product of your environment.

At the same time you can't go controlling your children telling them who they can and can't be friends with.. unless you're a nazi.


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On the edge
post Mar 7 2014, 07:47 PM
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A fascinating insight! The issue is as highlighted by international comparators, our education system is broke. You've identified one of the symptoms - school did not fit you for the high technology workforce we now need and fortunately you found. The reasons are complex but clearly start with all the influences a child is subjected to from birth. Additionally, in the UK we recognise only one model for success, that's the pseudo public school (grammar) approach. This relies on rote learning or chalk and talk. The only measures of success are the really quite simplistic league type tables, nevertheless, these do measure what is wanted. The day when parents believe sending their kids to public school is horrific waste of money is the day we know we are getting it right.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 7 2014, 10:46 PM
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I note this quote "The Stoney Lane school did receive “good” grades in the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management." Reading further, it suggest a particular area failed, perhaps year 11.
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Ziggy
post Mar 8 2014, 06:33 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 7 2014, 10:46 PM) *
I note this quote "The Stoney Lane school did receive “good” grades in the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management." Reading further, it suggest a particular area failed, perhaps year 11.

If you read the report, achievement of pupils reviving pupil premium (free school meals or military families in that incarnation of the grant) do not reach average levels of attainment or exceeding attainment, nor do some children on school action (children receiving additional support for learning). It's not even to do with a whole year group, it's to do with a small group within a single year group.
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Andy Capp
post Mar 8 2014, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE (Ziggy @ Mar 8 2014, 06:33 AM) *
If you read the report, achievement of pupils reviving pupil premium (free school meals or military families in that incarnation of the grant) do not reach average levels of attainment or exceeding attainment, nor do some children on school action (children receiving additional support for learning). It's not even to do with a whole year group, it's to do with a small group within a single year group.

I'm sorry Ziggy, but the information you post here is not in the report so I assume you have closer ties with Kennet than the rest of us. The report only mentions that there was a problem in year 11. It seems an element of year 11 brought the average down. Mind you, better the problem exists at the beginning of school life, than at the end!

Contrary to the posts above, Kennet School didn't appear to be reported as having a behaviour problem (it probably improved when MM left! tongue.gif )
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Ziggy
post Mar 8 2014, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 8 2014, 11:27 AM) *
I'm sorry Ziggy, but the information you post here is not in the report so I assume you have closer ties with Kennet than the rest of us. The report only mentions that there was a problem in year 11. It seems an element of year 11 brought the average down. Mind you, better the problem exists at the beginning of school life, than at the end!

Contrary to the posts above, Kennet School didn't appear to be reported as having a behaviour problem (it probably improved when MM left! tongue.gif )

No, I don't have anything to do with the school. But what I have done is read the Ofsted report itself rather than just the NWN. What I said was in the very first paragraph.
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motormad
post Mar 8 2014, 11:46 PM
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QUOTE (Ziggy @ Mar 8 2014, 06:33 AM) *
If you read the report, achievement of pupils reviving pupil premium (free school meals or military families in that incarnation of the grant) do not reach average levels of attainment or exceeding attainment, nor do some children on school action (children receiving additional support for learning). It's not even to do with a whole year group, it's to do with a small group within a single year group.


Is that the same free school meals that were like, £1.80 for a TERRIBLE cheap hamburger that tasted of ***?


Andy, you're probably right laugh.gif


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Andy Capp
post Mar 9 2014, 12:13 AM
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QUOTE (Ziggy @ Mar 8 2014, 05:25 PM) *
No, I don't have anything to do with the school. But what I have done is read the Ofsted report itself rather than just the NWN. What I said was in the very first paragraph.

I don't believe you.
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Ziggy
post Mar 9 2014, 07:13 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 9 2014, 12:13 AM) *
I don't believe you.

You are welcome to your opinion, but I am telling the truth. Take a bit of trouble to look at the source document rather than the NWN's interpretation. It's on the Ofsted website for everyone to look at. I shouldn't be accused of being a liar just because I'm the only person on this thread to have bothered to do that.
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 9 2014, 09:19 AM
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QUOTE
KENNET School in Thatcham has been downgraded by Ofsted from “outstanding” to “requires improvement”.

here is the Ofsted report.

If the NWN report is right and Kennet was previously "outstanding" then it's latest grade is quite a tumble with behaviour and leadership now simply good, but achievement and teaching quality now requiring improvement.

Overall effectiveness:
- Previous inspection: Not previously inspected.
- This inspection: Requires improvement 3

Achievement of pupils:
- Requires improvement 3

Quality of teaching:
- Requires improvement 3

Behaviour and safety of pupils:
- Good 2

Leadership and management:
- Good 2

It's confusing that Ofsted says the school wasn't previously inspected so perhaps someone can throw some light on that.

From the report:
This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because:

  • The progress made by groups of students, particularly those eligible for the pupil premium and those supported at school action, has been much slower than other students at the school over the past two years.
  • Over time, teaching in some subject areas has not enabled students to make good progress.
  • The percentage of students achieving five GCSE grades A* to C including English and mathematics has declined over time and is now average.
  • Some teachers do not mark the students’ work regularly or thoroughly and therefore some students are not always clear about what they need to do to improve.
  • The whole school tracking and monitoring of students’ progress over time has not always led to students receiving appropriate support for their learning and consequently some groups of students have not made good progress.

It is worth noting the following comment which challenges what spartacus says:

The school has the following strengths:

  • The headteacher and the governing body have made significant changes to the senior and middle leadership team and their actions in the past year are already having a positive impact on teaching and students’ achievement.
  • The sixth form is good. It offers a range of courses and attainment at both AS and A level is above the national average.
  • The additional provision is good and consequently students with a statement of special educational needs make good progress.
  • The behaviour of students throughout the school is good. They respect each other and there are very positive relationships between teachers and students. Of the students who were interviewed, all feel safe at the school and understand how to protect themselves.
  • The school offers a wide range of high quality extra-curricular activities which are valued highly by the students. As a result, students enjoy coming to school and actively participate in a range of leadership roles.



In summary then Ziggy's analysis is not supported by the report. The school has some problems and blaming them all on one small group of pupils is a distortion and does not acknowledge all of the other reasons for the school's poor grading.

However, this from the head teacher on the school's web site supports what Ziggy say
QUOTE
Kennet School was declared outstanding by Ofsted in 2008 and was able then to convert into an academy on 1 April 2011. More recently, Kennet has become the sponsor of Whitelands Park Primary School and I have the privilege of being Executive Head across both schools. In February, a further Ofsted inspection, was disappointing, particularly in terms of the performance of one group of pupils. The school already had extensive plans in place to support this particular group of pupils more effectively, towards the summer of 2014 and beyond, and Kennet remains an ambitious and determined school where all pupils will be given every assistance, to achieve their absolute potential.

Some non-standard punctuation in there too.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 9 2014, 11:01 AM
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QUOTE (Ziggy @ Mar 9 2014, 07:13 AM) *
You are welcome to your opinion, but I am telling the truth. Take a bit of trouble to look at the source document rather than the NWN's interpretation. It's on the Ofsted website for everyone to look at. I shouldn't be accused of being a liar just because I'm the only person on this thread to have bothered to do that.

Why the big interest in what people were saying? You've been a member for 5 years yet have made 'only' 21 posts and this is one of the most important to you? I don't need to read the Ofsted report because I don't care enough, however, what I did recognise was that the NWN article was poorly reported and researched.
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