Turner Schools – part 2 Turner Free School (previously Pent Valley)
Following on from yesterday here is Part 2 where we look at the new
Turner Free School – previously known as Pent Valley
To understand the direction of travel of the two Turner secondary academies, they being Folkestone Academy and the school formerly known as Pent Valley; it is best to look at the new Turner Free School first, even though the website is light on fact but with masses of information about governance and governors. However, it does contain plenty of slogans, headed by ‘Success without selection’ , offering ‘a grammar-style education for everyone’ whatever that means, and another vision that includes: ‘empowering pupils with cultural capital’ . It will offer government preferred Ebacc for everyone, an academic curriculum heavily criticised in places for its absolute focus on academic studies at cost to the arts and vocational courses. This has lead to a 38% fall in entries to Arts GCSEs n the past five years.
The school claims to be opening in September on its wafer thin website, boasting of the 70 applications it has received. On the Turner Free School website its front page of ‘latest news‘ informs browsers that it has attracted just 70 applicants for its 120 places. I am told by the Trust that the school has now had 240 applications with half placed on a waiting list, but no one has bothered to update the website. If this is the case, then probably most of these have also secured places at Folkestone Academy.
This monopoly in secondary provision across Folkestone is unique in the county and has the effect of eliminating choice for families who dislike the ethos projected by the Trust in its schools.
One of the many issues is that these applications are outside the Kent Secondary Application scheme and so are open to and will include pupils already offered places Folkestone Academy. Turner Trust knows how many of these there are, and who, so could try and ‘guide’ applicants to improve numbers.
‘Ultimately, every student from TFS will have the chance to follow any dream, achieve any goal, and to be anything they want to be’
Can’t wait to see if any of their students ends up as General Secretary of the United Nations or the the first Folkestone person to land on Mars or marry into Frau Windsor’s family or solves the NHS’ problems..
Usually a “slogan heavy” prospectus means that the writers have no idea what to write for an audience who equally have no idea what they want.
I shouldn’t imagine Harvey Grammar or Folkestone Girls Grammar schools will be losing a lot of sleep over their Tuner Free School prospectus – indeed I should imagine that housing developers will be eyeing the sites up..
The success of Turner Free School will depend on the further unpopularity of Folkestone academy. Well summed up.
What Choice of secondary education will Parents have whose Children fail to pass the Grammar School Test. Turner Schools or Turner Schools. Hmmm lots of choice there then.
Does this mean an end to their so-called “enterprise adviser”, Robert Richardson? Just as well, he has his hands full with the winding up of five of the companies for which he has operational responsibility, his own travails with HMRC and his job hunting!! Mind you, who will tend his gardens?
If they raise secondary education standards in the town it doesn’t matter what their prospectus says or doesn’t say, that can only be a good thing. But I am not sure how the ‘special unit’ for ‘naughty kids’ that will be co-located fits into this vision. Sadly I think they will be marginalised and miss out.