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Ofsted has praised a centre for youngsters who have been excluded from school for its outstanding teaching.

Inspectors said students at the Will Adams Centre in Gillingham were getting the qualifications needed to help them on to further education or employment.

They have rated the centre – which caters for more than 40 teenagers in Years 10 and 11, all of whom have learning difficulties – as ‘good’, the second highest accolade possible and a step up from the last inspection.

Ofsted described teaching as “typically good and some is outstanding” and went on to say teachers encourage students to achieve a high standard of work.

Inspectors said that while most students join with a history of negative attitudes towards school, staff work hard to engage them and, as a result, behaviour improves rapidly.

They also said students do better at Will Adams than most pupils attending Pupil Referral Units elsewhere in the country.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Medway Council, said: “I am delighted Ofsted has recognised the tremendous work that is going on at the Will Adams Centre.

“The turn around in student performance and attitude once they get to Will Adams is simply incredible and a real credit to all the teachers and the leadership team.”

The centres headteacher, Karen Bennett, said: “We are thrilled the inspectors have praised the work going on here and the performance of students.

“When pupils reach us, their knowledge and skills are often below the expectations for their age, however, Ofsted has pointed out how they progress rapidly here and leave us equipped with the qualifications to go on to further education or employment. That’s quite an achievement”

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Layout 1A long-term plan that secures the future of Rochester Airport has been approved by Medway Council.

The Rochester Airport Masterplan includes proposals for 1,000 jobs with the creation of a new hub for science and technology firms and much-improved facilities in this key location.
The approval of the masterplan comes after a comprehensive public consultation.

First established in 1933, the Rochester Airport site is owned by Medway Council and has been leased since to an airport operator – Rochester Airport Limited.

Proposals involve replacing many of the existing buildings and facilities on the airport that are now reaching the end of their useful life and a reconfiguration of the existing runways.

One of the grass runways on site will be closed and replaced with a new parallel grass and paved runway. The paved runway will allow a small aircraft to take off and climb to a higher altitude very quickly, reducing the impact of noise on surrounding homes.

The grass runway will allow the nationally recognised Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) to continue to use the site for heritage aircraft and open days.

The new runway layout will allow 29 acres near to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate to be developed as a new hub for science or technology related firms – with the potential to eventually create up to 1,000 new skilled jobs.

There are no plans to develop Rochester Airport into a commercial airport.

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “Rochester Airport is an important asset for Medway and securing its future will help contribute to the regeneration and economic development of Medway.

“We want to ensure the future of the airport by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism and that’s what the masterplan does.

“The potential for new jobs here is just one of many benefits this masterplan brings.”

Two Hoo Peninsula firms are among the first in Kent to successfully apply for a Tiger loan in Kent – receiving a combined total of nearly £250,000 to help grow their business.

TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is a regional growth fund offering low-cost loans allowing businesses to invest in new products and services. Read More

A full report into the recruitment of the “Youth” Police Commissioner has been published today. If you would like to read the full report follow this link. Report in full

Commissioner Ann Barnes

Commissioner Ann Barnes


Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes, today published an Independent Review into the recruitment and selection processes used to appoint Paris Brown in early 2013. Read More

ApprenticeshipA number of local businesses looking to recruit new staff will be setting up shop at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham this week for the Medway Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair 2013.

The event, organised by Medway Council and Job Centre Plus, takes place from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, 26 September on the first floor of the shopping mall.

It builds on a highly successful jobs fair held last year attended by more than 1,700 jobseekers resulting in 100 jobs being secured and many others helped to get their career ambitions on track.

A number of local employers from across Medway and the rest of Kent will have stands as well as employment support agencies, offering advice on training and skills to help people back into work or find a new career.

That includes the council backed Employ Medway service, based in High Street. Chatham which offers courses and one-to-one support for people who have been unemployed for some time.

Jobcentre Plus will be on hand to provide information on how both employers and jobseekers can benefit from the Wage Incentive scheme, work trials and work experience. Read More

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith visited Auto22 garage, Gravesend at the end of last month.

Launched by the young people’s catch22 charity, the Auto22 garage is a social enterprise that offers servicing and repairs for cars and light vans, providing work experience, training and apprenticeships for young people to learn mechanics.

The council has been working with Auto22 and has created employment at the Brookvale Depot for George Burman, aged 19, as an apprentice mechanic. George has been on a learning programme with Auto22 for one year and recently completed a four week work experience trial at the Brookvale Depot. More

Medway is gearing up for a day dedicated to showcasing the area’s economic prowess and employment opportunities.

Businesses and industry leaders from across the south east and London will descend on the Construction Expo in Medway, on Thursday, 11 October, for a day dedicated to boosting employment and regeneration in the area. More

Young people in Medway are being asked to get involved and help shape the future of education in Medway by taking part in a new online survey.
The survey is aimed at pursuing the possibility of establishing a University Technical College in Medway, by asking young people what they think about the idea.
By launching the survey, at http://www.medway.gov.uk/utc the board behind the bid, which is led by the University of Greenwich with members from the university, MidKent College and the council, hope to get as much feedback about the proposal for a Medway UTC as possible, to use should any future rounds of applications be announced. More

‘Never give up on finding work, whatever age you are’, is one man’s inspirational message after finding employment thanks to Medway Council. More

Young performers from Medway and across the southeast will be taking to the stage next week to showcase their musical talents and support the homeless. More

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