Turner Schools Folkestone: Rewarding Failure.

From all the figures now available, Dr Jo Saxton (pictured) Chief Executive and Trustee of of Turner Schools  is being financially rewarded for failing her pupils, her staff and the four schools she overseas.

Turner Schools is made up of Folkestone Academy, Turner Free School (previously Pent Valley) Martello Primary and Morehall Primary.

In 2017 Dr Saxton was paid only a partial salary as she took up the post part way through the year. She received between £35,000 – £40,000. As of the 1st Sept 2017 – 31st August 2018 according to accounts lodged at Companies House she was paid between £140 – £150,000, more than Dr Susan Priest, head honcho at Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

Peter Read a respected educationalist and owner of Kent Advice website, has said on his blog:

  • Folkestone Academy had more than one is seven of all fixed term pupil exclusions across Kent’s 101 secondary schools in 2017 -18.

Now to put that into numbers you can understand that’s 1,211 fixed term pupil exclusions, being more than double any other school in Kent except Oasis Academy with 786 (Isle of Sheppey)

Now a question to ask is how many of these exclusion may have been down to sexual harassment by pupils on pupils?

Now in the Times Educational Supplement Dr Jo “Saxton agrees with (Doug) Lemov that a structured approach to behaviour is a way of reducing exclusions. She says that prior to joining Turner Schools, Folkestone Academy  was the highest excluding school in Kent, but it is now reintegrating pupils into mainstream education.”

The evidence publicly available demonstrates that Dr Saxton is being rewarded handsomely for her failings on exclusions.

Furthermore, it’s known that Folkestone Academy ran up a debt of £707,807 in 2017 -2018 (same year as that nice salary increase) for overestimating its pupil roll for last year, the highest figure in the country, as confirmed by Schools Week

A spokeperson for Turner Schools trust, pointed out the calculation was made in Nov 2015 before the school transferred to the trust.

Now the Schools Week article goes onto say:

  • Pam Tuckett, partner at accountancy firm Bishop Fleming, said academies funded on estimated pupil numbers “usually get funding because they’re growing – and it all tends to be down to negotiation”.

Now what is so ironic is that Turner School accounts forsept 1st 2017 – 31st August 2018 state that one of the risks is:

(Key Stage 4 = GCSE pupils)

We know that numbers for the intake of the sixth form have dropped significantly for the intake of 2018. This is confirmed by data received by Peter Read of Kent Advice in an FoI and which will go live soon so we understand. The data also shows intake numbers across all schools  for 2018  fell overall.

So with less pupils numbers comes less money. With less money comes cutbacks and/or increasing debt possibly. And for this  Dr Jo Saxton has rewarded herself with a salary between £140K – £150K.

To return to Dr Saxton’s much loved “education guru” Mr Lemov, mentioned earlier, he said in a recent training session for the Turner Trust staff, compared Folkestone with an ‘American Rust Belt City’. For those of you who do not know “Rust belt” is a  derogatory term, which refers to the deindustrialization, or economic decline, population loss, and urban decay of an area. Now we know Folkestone has its faults but we the Shepwayvox Team do not believe such slurs and derogatory comments by an American Educational Guru describe our town,  just ask Sir Roger de Haan and his regeneration team, or the Cabinet Member for the local Economy Councillor John Collier.

It is our and others personal suspicion that Folkestone Academy will be run down, as Turner Free School (previously known as Pent Valley) takes on a full intake of students across all years. It will be jettisoned due to legacy issues as mentioned above in the risks set out by the trust.

So with all the evidence before you, we believe Dr Jo Saxton is being rewarded for her failure. However, as always, we’ll leave you to decide that.

The Shepwayvox Team

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About shepwayvox (1801 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

7 Comments on Turner Schools Folkestone: Rewarding Failure.

  1. A Concerned Parent // January 23, 2019 at 08:52 // Reply

    I think the Shepwayvox Team may well be right regarding Folkestone Academy. The leadership is so poor across all four schools, truly

  2. Any connection with Robert Richardson standing down, or being stood down, as so-called enterprise adviser?? Just asking

  3. Such a long and unpleasant comment, too much to take in but all I know is the young people I know who attend there are very very happy and benefiting from the lack of the huge numbers the other schools take to increase their funding.

  4. The real issue is that there is no local/democratic accountability for the way any academy operates. There is no elected school board, no elected local representative e.g. local or county councillor with any responsibility. Much as local authority responsibility for schools was flawed in operation, there WAS accountability. The academies programme has stripped out a whole layer of democratic accountability for the education of our children. This is not to say that there are not some great academies, and there are examples where collaboration with a local authority and local accountability exists and flourishes. But there are also examples where there is a massive divide between school and community as in Hastings where only 107 responses were received during a ‘consultation’ to merge two academies.

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice if you helped and encouraged someone who is trying to do good instead of tearing them down with a sloppy and negative piece of journalism! You’ve lost a reader of many years. I agree with Cecilia above. The pupils and parents at the school are incredibly happy and delighted that finally someone is dedicating themselves to the welfare of their pupils. Check your facts.

  6. An interesting argument Cecilia. The school is unpopular and failing on many counts. Pupils leave or are driven out. Those that remain benefit, although falling funds will make the situation worse.

  7. If parents have any concerns about the management and leadership of this academy they d have the right to complain to Ofsted (see link below).

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