Friday, July 21, 2006

Mega Schools for Thanet?

The question of even larger Thanet schools rumbles on. One of our regular readers writes in to add to the story and ask councillors what they make of it all:

“Just to keep you up to date and ahead of the Gazette, here is the latest from my mole at KCC. I would love to know what the councillors have to say about this!

The huge swathe of land in Pysons Road is all owned by KCC. The plan, to be complete by 2012, is that there will be four schools on the one giant site, with a joint usage central area.

Ellington and Clarendon will be built as twin (federated) schools (Girls), and Hereson and Chatham House will also have two new schools built as twin (federated) schools, (boys).

They will then have new facilities that all four campuses can share.

One must presume that the finance for this will come from the sale of the lucrative town school sites.”

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am afraid I can't get enthusiastic about state schools locally.
I realise that better education can improve our future society but I feel that schools and their teachers must be resposible for the current youth problems we are suffering.
The lack of respect for anyone or anything, the antisocial behaviour, the drunkeness and criminal damage and theft.
All of these are done by people who were kids at school and could have been educated in such a way that they wouldn't do such things.

A few years ago I did a study on education and behaviour and found that children who had attended a Montessori school were totally different to many of those who had not. They are taught to be polite and kind from an early age. There are flowers on the tables and bad behaviour is not tolerated.
Now why can't our state schools have the same aims and standards - and therefore good results.
The Montessori method works, nice kids grow up into nice youths and nice adults.

So this is why I feel teachers in the state sector have let us all down and contributed to the grotty society we find ourselves living in here in Thanet.
They have now retired on nice pensions and probably think they did an adequate job, and don't blame themselves at all.

Anonymous said...

Most the young people I meet are well behaved. My daughter is just moving into the secondary school system from junior. There are some kids who are total morons but they are a minority, (no doubt the ones who graffitied Broadstairs this week). The methods practiced by teachers now are far better than those of my youth in the 70s. Decent careers advice, (we were always told not to be unrealistic, e.g. be a plumber instead of a lawyer) or join the army. Teachers also don't hit the children with rulers or blackboard rubbers now and PE teachers don't bend kids over and whack them with a sneaker or stick. We had Punk and skinheads and most of us turned out okay. I think a lot of kids are better behaved than we were. As for making nice adults out of kids with flowers on the table, that sounds kinda bland, no raw urban edge stuff. Boys especially at around 13-18 are aggresive because it's in their nature. One old Battle of Britain fighter pilot said on TV a couple of years a go he thought himself lucky to get his aggression out on killing Germans by shooting them out the sky. The older generations were responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands in two world wars so don't preach the younger about violence. That aggression needs channelling somewhere. The best thing for boys and girls is single sex schools. Often boys are egged on to misbehave by girls or boys do it to show off. Girls supposedly being more mature want to behave like adults with the consequences that that produces.
The society isn't that grotty, it could be better but I don't think your view is balanced.

Chris Wells said...

It is true to say that is one of the many options floating in the air. It is not true, however, that KCC owns the whole site, and that which KCC owns is big enough for 4 schools together in the manner described. There are many public transport arguements against such an option, in addition to taking all schooling out of central Ramsgate, in my view a mistake.

Would you want all four schools in an era of falling rolls?

There are loads of rumours, no easy answers, and many battles to come.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:49 makes some very good points and I wouldn't lay the blame of the problems with our current generation at the feet of the teaching profession per se. I believe the rot is far more profound. We live in a post Christian society and many young people lack any moral framework that was once provided by schools and churches. If you want to blame anyone I would blame the politicians, media, teachers and the lawyers. All of these have been taken over by left leaning, liberal moonbats whose fetish for multi-culturalism, embracing diversity. This and all the other nauseating tripe they have foisted on us in has led to a dramatic decline in the quality of life in modern Britain.

As for your comment
"Teachers also don't hit the children with rulers or blackboard rubbers now and PE teachers don't bend kids over and whack them with a sneaker or stick."

No they don't but maybe if they did kids would have a bit more respect for authority. I work in a job where I deal with the public and have done so for a long time. The British public grow more obnoxious by the year I think the attitude of most people to authority stinks. A lot of this stems from the loons who have brought political correcteness into the mainstream. That and the welfare state but that's a topic for another day.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Nothing to do with this topic, except it involves kids. I have just got back from Birchington Station where, 5-6 boys 13-15 got off the Victoria train... walked back toward London on the platform, then CROSSED the track just before a fast moving 'empties' train appeared from London direction. The driver blew the horn for a long time, but they carried on walking void of the Danger they were in. Then the train setting off for London left the Station very slowly, also sounding its horn, the lads kept on going toward the Minnis Road bridge.
As we left the Station, the Transport Police showed up. We gave them a brief eye witness report. (they had been called by someone who lives near the Bridge).
They said that even though that young girl was killed at Broadstairs, not so long ago, the kids STILL take this senseless risk of being hit by trains, or electrocuted on the 3rd Rail.
The Transport Police were very quick on the scene, but ofcourse the kids had long since disappeared.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.49 - Quite lucky for you that my father also spent his younger years shooting Germans out of the sky - he didn't enjoy it, in fact he had little option as he was conscripted, but if he hadn't done it you would either not be alive today or you would be living in a Nazi state.
I do agree with you about single sex schools.
The school I attended which was run by DeLaSalle Brothers, a Catholic branch of the SS,(ROFL) was boys only, very strict and loads of beating.
In fact 3 boys died during the 10 years I was there and as far as I know there was never any real action taken.
They were all sports related, and we had the same sports master (not a religious) all those years.
One died after being speared with a javelin on the sports field. maybe that was an accident but very careless.
The second got a broken neck during rugby and was forced to carry on playing. Maybe that was just a bad mistake.
The third had a heart attack and collapsed and died on the sports field after being beaten on the backs of the legs as he wasn't running fast enough for the sports master who ran after him beating him until he collapsed.
And no action was taken, Chiefy Taylor the sports master was still there when I left.
Would that happen today?

Anonymous said...

I can remember my father telling me not to be a wimp when I had my first caning at St Augustines in Ramsgate. During the war, he told me that he received 14 strokes for for stealing rhubarb from his boarding school garden because he was hungry. One of the most brutal schools herabouts was Canterbury House in Westgate in the sixties. The headteacher, Major Berry was convinced that a good flogging never hurt anyone. Mr Jones, the sports teacher held similar opinions. If you dared drop a cricket ball during practise the penalty was three strokes on the behind with his cricket bat, which didn't hurt so much as leave you feeling sick with the blows. Times have changed for the better in many ways by at the very least weeding out the sadists from teaching as 6.34 also experienced. I don't think any of my contemporaries actually dies though but I did see one thrown out of a first floor classroom window by an irate teacher who forgot that the stairs down to the cellar were directly beneath -oops - the boy survived wit cuts and bruises fortunately!

Chris Wells said...

I am rather saddened we are off into reminiscence mode on this one, there are real issues for the future of education in Thanet here. It would appear the Gazette gets a better class of debate and response on this one than does Thanet Life!

DrMoores said...

Your'e right Chris.. off on a tangent here. I think the sunshine and heat is keeping people away. Certainly the traffic is indirectly proprotional to the temperature at present. People are outside and not at that PCs

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 10.20 and cris and Dr moores.it is very curious that we are being told thar birth rates are falling as i know a lady who is a registrar and she informed me that birth rates are continuing to rise each year and already this year they are 10% higher!!hmmmm

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.48 Did your friend the Registrar split the birth rate up for you into ethnic groups?
I have read that the traditional ethnic British birth rate is falling while the more recent immigrant birth rate is high.

Chris Wells said...

To be fair, it is possible that there has been a rise in the birth rate following a long period of falling birth rates. It is also true to say that the birth rate in disadvantadged areas continues to rise, whereas in more affluent areas is falling sharply. I can honestly say I have done my bit for the falling birth rate, its up to the rest of you idle buggers now!

Anonymous said...

Chris the birth rate is'nt falling...you only have to look round the streets of thanet and every young unmaried girl has a baby.then they get housed by the council and then have more and more..they shout and scream at the poor little babies it is a sorry state of affairs...

DrMoores said...

It goes back to an Observer newspaper feature story I recall reading one Sunday on the plane back from Athens.

The birth rate is growing dramatically in some areas of the population and declining equally dramatically in others.

Fundamentally, the "middle classes" are opting, if I recall for an average of under 2 children but the "underclass" is going the other way, thanks to generous state benefits and the dissolution of the nuclear family - you can probably find this on the Guardian website still -

The biggest rise was reported in the Islamic community and principlally among Bangledeshi / Pakistani families and teh overall prediction was that procreation would lead to an islamic majority by I think 2060.

Chris Wells said...

I did say that there were still rising birth rates in areas of disadvantage. That does not mean all of Thanet, by any means, but still does give an overall fewer number of children to educate. That is why across the county we are closing and combining schools. That is also why the impact has not been as great in Thanet as elsewhere in the county. That is why the importance of the failure to properly calculate the numbers needed at the Marlow Academy will have an effect on all other secondary schools in the area.

DrMoores said...

I've got a two page reply from John Simmonds at KCC in front of me, regarding this whole mega school question. It's much to much to reproduce of course but interesting to note the expectation of a 1000 fewer pupils at Thanet Secondary Schools over the next 7 or 8 years. Given the expansion in housing in Thanet I'm not sure how this figure is arrived at. Do you know Chris?

Chris Wells said...

Yes. It is a combination of birthrates in an area, assessment of catchment area for current pupils, numbers in primary and junior schools, and allowances for known developments in the area, plus a bit for miscalculation. In other words, taking into account everything you or I would expect to be included.