Tuesday 17 January 2012

Marlowe Academy in Trouble Again? and a ramble

Reading The Guardian yesterday http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/16/academies-special-measures-apprenticeships I noticed this article, which says:

"In December, we reported on the Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate, in Thanet, Kent, one of the worst-performing secondary schools in the country, which, after failing to make significant improvements on its GCSE results, had effectively been taken over by the Academies Education Trust (AET), which sponsors 14 schools in England.

A headteacher at the time said that since the government had announced it was raising floor targets (the minimum standard of attainment), academy chains were eyeing up failing schools, hoping to take advantage of their misfortune.

But, despite parachuting in a new head and deputy head, it seems the AET is yet to make its mark on the academy. After a recent Ofsted inspection, the school has been placed in special measures, the Guardian has learned.

A spokesperson for the AET said they would not be able to comment until the report had been published by Ofsted."

Well to be honest I was following up on John Worrows post about the difficulties encountered by gay teenagers, which like so many of his posts is now deleted, so I was googling away trying to work out what the problems are for the youf locally.

The picture is of a Chatham House School production, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2010/08/chatham-house-ramsgate-school.html

I find it a bit strange that The Marlowe Academy has mopped up so much public money and still appears to failing the youf of today. It started out as Conyngham School when it opened in 1963, named after The Marquess of Conyngham, hope I spelt all that OK, there were unfortunate associations with the C word when it came to hurling insults, although I doubt that is why the name was changed to The Ramsgate School. Now however rebuilt as The Marlowe Academy one wonders will they change the name again.

 As you see from the picture the young Christopher Marlowe could easily have played a girl in the school play once the facial fungus had been removed. Christopher didn’t make it to thirty as he was stabbed to death not long after being arrested, probably for heresy. The arrest not the stabbing I mean, perhaps that is why he was stabbed too.  

To quote Marlowe himself “while the boy, naive and unaware of Greek love practices, said that, "You are deceiv'd, I am no woman” 

Anyway while I was contemplating the likelihood of homophobia being greater of lesser among the pupils of a school named after Marlowe, who must hold the accolade of being one of the stately homos of England. I came across this rather disturbing article about the way we are failing our youth here in Thanet yet again. 

Bit of a fragmented post today with the bookshop being busier than usual, an interesting addition to the Ramsgate business for sale here http://www.primelocation.com/uk-property-for-sale/details/id/TEPA2409687/  

Back to John Worrow’s blog and before I go further I think it would be apposite for me to produce some sort of joke relating to him and homosexuality.

This one relates to you having the right screen size and browser, assuming you have the right conditions and you have opened his website you should have a tab reading John Worrow – Your Camp.  

Ok it wasn’t that funny, but it was only to prove the point that there is a difference between humour and homophobia, even when that humour is linked to a person’s sexual preferences.

John’s latest post http://worrowsworld.blogspot.com/2012/01/fair-play-statement.html seems to be saying that Simon Moores isn’t homophobic and James, I assume he means James Maskell isn’t a bigot.

I won't bother to comment there as the post and all of its comments will probably vanish like the two previous ones about, teenage homophobia and homophobia in the Church of England, both of these subjects interest me and I would have commented on the posts, had I not expected them to be deleted.     

I will start with The Church of England and tackling homophobia.  

I would guess that the church as a whole are in a difficult position on this one, I think there is a genuine desire to change attitudes and a complex biblical and doctrinal history going back a very long time to overcome.

I would reckon that the Church of England is making more progress on this and other discrimination issues than most, and most of the other world religions don’t really seem to have started on the issue.

With the female clergy issue a lot of people have left the Church of England for other churches where they don’t have any female clergy. 

One wonders just where this will all go, I suppose απελουσασθε απελουσασθε means therefore Εδικαιωθητε (St Paul’s own words) as a non practicing homosexual better have a look at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-gay-churchman-and-an-unholy-row-6290223.html if you don’t know what I am talking about, and the Greek is 1 Corinthians 6:11.

On to the victimisation of gay youth although staying for a moment with the theme of males in dresses, more of the photos from the Chatham House productions here http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/chathamhouse/ a consideration being how one works out, at an age where it is difficult to tell what sex some people are, who it is one is attracted to and what ones orientation is, I do wonder if gay youth have a category that is separate from youth.

Anyway having read John’s post I spent an edifying evening looking at some of the Stonewall statistics, after which I had a look at some of the surveys from outside the gay community, frankly as far as I can see, things are bad in teenage word of sexuality in the UK. 

See http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-press-information.asp?itemid=1783&itemTitle=Women%92s+Aid+launches+teenage+domestic+violence+campaign+with+Bliss+magazine&section=0001000100150001&sectionTitle=Press+releases and http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/media-centre/press-releases/2009/09-09-01-teen-girls-abused-by-boyfriends/09-09-01_teen_girls_abused_by_boyfriends_warns_NSPCC_wdn75755.html

I would say that one way and another something has gone badly wrong with our society. 

Oh well here’s one of the pictures I took today.
   Three threes plus four fours is the same as five fives.


  1. Still Conyngham whatever badge you put on it....

  2. and always will be Conyngham,they were even given free uniform when it changed to the Marlowe some of that ended up on E-bay.

  3. If you paint a train a different colour, it doesn't make it run on time.

    The key here is changing "hearts & minds". That is, until the people who remember Conyngham are no longer around, the Conyngham badge will still be there. After that, the school (I refuse to call it an academy) can move on.

    Either that, or you just remove it from Newington. Or, preferably, just remove Newington !!

  4. Conyngham, Ramsgate School, Marlowe... doesn't matter what you call it.... but if you place all the worst performing kids in Thanet in one school what do you expect?

    The problem is that teaching simply hasn't moved on fast enough, give it an other 10 years and secondary/comprehensive schools as we know them today will cease to exist for the majority of children.

  5. When the Marlowe was proposed sensible opinion said wrong place. They should have closed the Ramsgate School, spent the Marlowe millions on enlarging and improving other Thanet schools and then distributed the youngsters around them.

  6. One of our sons mates weent there and did well, His look on the school was where else can I go and be taught in a virtually new school with new facilities and only 15 kids in a class.

  7. They're trying everything but gradually infiltrating new management in from Gloucestershire who quite frankly haven't got a clue, has made no difference.A lot of the problem is that they have staff who are not proper teachers but jumped up classroom assistants and the school day which was supposedly extended to stop homework is too long(8.30am till 5.00pm) for the kids to concentrate properly.
    Nearby St Georges who takes kids from a similar catchment area with similar abilities but has a shorter day, till 2.30pm, had an outstanding Ofsted report so where is the Marlowe going wrong?

  8. our daughter went there complete and utter disater we pulled her out and had private tuition what do you expect with a rough tatty council estate that is known to be hell on earth and most probably generations and generations of the estate have attended this school ndifferent names same reputation it will never ever be any good knock it down send the roughs to london give us back some part of kent bakent that is not an eyesore.

  9. i went there, it wasn't bad but not good either

  10. its like any other school just because it had a bad history doesn't mean it will stay that way

  11. I spent some time there earlier this year. Sorry to say, I was appalled. Some students were rude, disrespectful and highly disruptive. The organisation was chaotic. Little work was getting done, or was possible under the circumstances. For many years now it has been the fashion to blame the teachers for failing schools. This approach doesn't seem to have improved matters. "Failing" teachers have been discarded by the bucketload with little impact on school performance. In my opinion, it's high time focus was shifted back onto the students. Call me old-fashioned, but I attended a school elsewhere, which served estates every bit as deprived as Newington. We would never have been permitted to be abusive to teachers and we would have earned a hefty after-school detention for failing to do the work which was set. We wouldn't have been allowed to disrupt other students' education. If we got into trouble at school it was ten times worse when we got home. I was able to obtain high-level qualifications and became the first person im my family to go to University.

    Lots of people in education talk about setting clear boundaries but they aren't prepared to enforce anything. They cave in as soon as an aggressive parent phones up. It's only my opinion, but I think that's where it all begins to fall apart. If you don't enforce rules on timekeeping, wearing uniform, bringing the correct equipment and doing homework, you suddenly find yourself struggling to enforce rules on far more serious things like truancy, bullying and serious disruption. On a positive note, all of the evidence suggests that, with the right leadership, "failing" schools can be turned round and can give students a first class education, irrespective of their backgrounds. You just need to look at the schools where this has been done to see how they did it. It isn't rocket science, but neither is it palatable to the liberal elite who have shaped modern education with policies based on nothing more than psychobabble and wishful-thinking.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.