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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”

Medway Council’s ‘ambition to improve standards for its young people is universally acknowledged by its schools, a letter from Ofsted states.

The schools’ regulator made the comments in a letter to the authority following a focused inspection which included visiting a very small number of the area’s schools.

This inspection, which took place in June, and involved Ofsted going to ten of Medway’s 100 schools, was to ask their opinion of how they work with the council on school improvement. Read More

A top team of education experts will run Chatham Grammar School for Boys after Ofsted today (Tuesday September 10) announced the academy has been put into special measures – despite 95 per cent of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grade at GCSEs this year, including English and Mathematics.

Denise Shepherd, the Executive Principal of The Rochester Grammar School Trust, has become interim Executive Principal of Chatham Grammar School for Boys. Stuart Gardner, the Principal at The Rochester Grammar School, becomes interim Principal.

The Rochester Grammar School, is one of the highest achieving in the country, and was ranked second nationally for GCSE results in 2012. The Rochester Grammar School is also a National Support School and a National Teaching School with a successful track record of supporting other secondary schools both in Medway and in other local authorities. Read More

Medway Council has pledged to continue the very important improvements it is bringing in to its services that look after children in care. The council has vowed to do this after Ofsted inspectors graded Medway’s Looked After Children Services as inadequate. Read More

Three of Medway’s Sure Start centres have been praised highly by Ofsted in their first ever inspections and a Medway day care nursery has been recognised as outstanding.
Bligh Sure Start Children’s Centre in Strood has been rated as outstanding – the first in the country to be awarded this grade since Ofsted introduced a new, significantly tougher inspection regime in May 2013. Its day care centre also received its second successive outstanding rating. More

The majority of schools that formed part of a group inspection announced by Ofsted last month have had their reports published. Ofsted announced it was sending inspectors to ten schools in Medway in June. It did this as it said it wanted to look at primary school education within Medway. In order to achieve this, they visited a range of schools including secondary academies, primary schools and a pupil referral unit. More

A children’s centre in Medway has been given an overall outstanding rating after its first Ofsted inspection. More

Brompton Westbrook Primary School in Gillingham has been rated as outstanding for leadership and management by Ofsted inspectors.

The overall rating for the school is now good, following a previous Ofsted rating of satisfactory at its last inspection in December 2010. More

A glowing report from Ofsted inspectors has underlined a Medway special school as one of the foremost of its kind in the country. ALL aspects of Abbey Court Community School, from the achievements of the pupils and their behaviour to the quality of teaching, leadership and management, have been judged as outstanding by Ofsted inspectors. Inspectors visited the school, which had also been rated as Outstanding when it was last inspected in 2010, over two days at the end of October, observing lessons, speaking with staff, pupils and parents.

Abbey Court, which has sites in Rede Court Road, Strood and Long Catlis Road, Rainham, caters for 146 pupils aged between three and 19 with severe and profound learning difficulties. It has specialist status for cognition and learning and the inspectors refer to the numerous awards it has won for different aspects of its work including the British Council’s International School Award in recognition of its involvement in global activities.

Headteacher Karen Joy’s inspirational leadership, together with the support of her highly effective senior team, is highlighted in the report. The inspectors say this ensures the school meets fully its vision and aims and lives up to its motto “We grow people”. All the staff are dedicated and have a high level of commitment. The highly experienced governors provide outstanding support as well as ensuring the school is financially stable. A questionnaire and regular surveys show parents feel their children are happy and safe at school.

According to the report, pupils are happy and eager to get to school in the morning and adults greet them with a genuine sense of warmth which immediately puts them at ease. Attitudes to learning are said to be excellent because of the wide variety of well chosen activities. The main teaching strength is seen in the way all teachers and adults work together to help the pupils achieve their individual learning targets.
The pupils’ outstanding progress is particularly evident in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology. Those with speech, language and communication needs make significant strides thanks to a range of new technologies as well as the use of picture symbol cards.

The secondary department in Strood includes a 21-strong sixth form enabling older students to continue their seamless progress through the school and achieve nationally recognised qualifications. The inspectors say this improves their independence and social skills preparing them successfully for life beyond the school. Eileen James, Chair of Governors said: “The governors are proud of the outstanding achievement of the school. However, much more could be achieved if the school was united on a single site with improved accommodation. This would enable Abbey Court’s exemplary practice to be shared across Medway and beyond.”

Gad’s Hill School’s pupils got a rare opportunity to meet Buddhist monk, Kelsang Wangchuk, from the Jampel Centre, Canterbury and hear his message of love and compassion when he came to visit the School in Higham, Kent. More

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