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Please find below a statement from Cllr Mike O’Brien, Lead Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Medway Council, following an Ofsted report for Warren Wood Primary, Rochester.

“We acknowledge what Ofsted has said about the school and had already started making improvements before inspectors visited. Ofsted noted the positive effect a new leadership team of Anne Costidell and executive headteacher, Sian Williams, had already made at Warren Wood.

“It is important to note the hard work done in such a short space of time by the new leadership team to further improve standards at the school. We acknowledge that there is a still a lot of work to be done and that the ineffectiveness of the governing body, which has now been disbanded, led to the school’s current Ofsted criticism.

“The positive aspects picked up by the inspection team will be built on and there is a real determination at the school by its current leadership to drive the school forward from here. Inspectors said the team have already had a positive impact on pupils, staff and parents by putting strategies in place to improve teaching and pupils’ behaviour.

“They also noted in the Early Years Foundation Stage, children make good progress because the teaching is engaging. Inspectors observed the new staff in Reception were using well-structured activities to help children make good progress. The recent well-planned teaching of phonics in the Early Years Foundation Stage prepares children well in their literacy skills, the report said. Pupils say that since the arrival of the new leadership team, they feel happier to come to school and feel safer.

“The majority of parents who completed an online questionnaire believe that behaviour and safety are better now with the new leadership team. Teachers and their assistants are positive about the recent improvements to the school.

“The Ofsted team said that as a result of a new behaviour policy, there has been a sharp improvement in pupils’ behaviour overall.

“Parents opinions have been sought on a wide range of subjects and parents have indicated the current leaders work well with them. Things are changing for the better at the school on a daily basis and expectations are high as the new leadership team is already starting to see the benefits.

“I will not accept bad teaching in our schools and I am confident Warren Wood, under the new leadership, is now heading in the right direction.”

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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

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Kent Wildlife Trust welcomes the recognition of Lodge Hill – earmarked as a 5,000 home development site – as a nationally important site for wildlife by Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment.

On 13th March Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment, notified Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SSSIs comprise some of the country’s best wildlife sites, including our most spectacular, important and beautiful habitats, and Natural England has a duty to designate such areas under national legislation that protects them for future generations.

Chattenden Woods, a large area of ancient woodland and grassland, was originally designated as a SSSI in 1984 under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. More recently, investigations into the adjacent Lodge Hill site as part of proposals for a significant housing development, have highlighted that this area is also very important for the same reasons.

The site supports communities of bats (six species), lizards, grass snakes, adders, slow worms, newts, frogs, toads, badgers and rare insects such as the shrill carder-bee.

It has a significant breeding bird population, most notably nightingales, which were found to be widespread across the proposed development site, and the new SSSI supports at least 1.3% of the national population of this declining species. The new SSSI encompasses the old SSSI and the important areas of Lodge Hill. More

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