Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Have you seen how much the Marlowe Academy is achieving?

Pay a visit it is open and welcoming. Start with the library, aimed at children but serving all. It also has a soft play room for under 5s.On a Saturday you will find the school bursting with activity, rock music, and theatrical performances.

Before Christmas I saw Ramsgate Stagecoach Theatre School perform Glad Rags. Thanks to Cllr. John Kirby who “invigilated” as this was part of a world record attempt for simultaneous performances.Architecturally the school is stunning and the wall displays provide a very positive atmosphere. In many ways it feels more like a place of work than a school, then again a lot of work does get done at school.

Look at the statistics, results up, attendance better, the added value provided is the best in Thanet.Anecdotally I hear excited stories from parents about flexible staff an outstanding pupil focussed head teacher Ian Johnson. A breakfast club and after school club mean children can be at the Marlowe from 8.30am to 5pm. Several parents have told me how this allows them to work more hours, look after other children or study for qualifications.

Don't just take my opinion, I read this in the "Thanet and Kent Insider" from David Foley, Chief Executive, Thanet & East Kent Chamber of Commerce

"The Marlowe Academy is a serious school making excellent progress in its magnificent new buildings. The Principal, Ian Johnson, can call on the support of Caroline O’Conner, Business Development Leader, Liz Hubbershaw, head of the sixth form, and a first class management team to lead their students to a bright future. Increasing success in their GCSE results and the professionalism of their business outreach programmes do not mean that the school is immune from human frailties. Tim Scott of Multimedia Services was visiting the Academy recently when he witnessed a remarkable exchange which went something along the lines of the following. “Why are you not wearing your school uniform? You know the rules and there are no exceptions”, the teacher explained sternly. “But, you should know…” “I do know”, continued the teacher, “and you should know that school rules are there for your benefit. You must wear your school uniform in school and on the way to and from school.” “I know that”, spluttered the unfortunate object of the criticism, “but I think I ought to point out to you that I am the new maths teacher”. It’s not only policemen that are looking younger."

Looks like a leaky roof was fixed while the sun was shining to me.


  1. A long way to go still, Mark to meet Government targets of 30%, 5 A to Cs at GCSE (including English & Maths). If value added figures mean anything, the Marlowe (leading Thanet now instead of Ellington) must be badly let down by its Primary Feeder schools and the standards of pupils joining in Yr 7. I wonder what the effect on Hereson, Ethelbert, Ellington and other non-selective schools would have been if £20,000,000 plus had been thrown at them? I still see the Academy programme as throwing a great deal of tax-payers money at 'failing schools'. Would Thanet have been better served with closing Conyngham/Ramsgate/Marlowe and spreading the finances around as well as the pupils?

  2. The Marlowe hasnt been around long enough to see whether its creation has actually done much better than the prevous management. It may be pretty and look good but if the results are poor, then its just a facade.

  3. Yes it is a long way to go both but a good start has been made and the sports and arts facilities are available to all in the community so that has to be a gain for Ramsgate. Academically Bertie one primary school has been in special measures but is now turning round and rapidly improving. I do not think it is great to advertise that so I am deliberately nnot mentioning that because we all know the stigma of past school names and hence the Marlowe name. I am unsure there is any evidence that the academy schools do any better or worse than others and I am concerned that in some creationism is taught. I think that is wrong.