Ded­i­cated head made a scape­goat

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

I read with in­ter­est your ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing the North School and its shock­ing exam re­sults (Must do bet­ter, KE, Jan­uary 28). Per­haps the peo­ple, who swal­lowed the vil­i­fi­ca­tion of the for­mer head Les­ley El­lis might now be hav­ing a re­think.

I worked at the North dur­ing Mrs El­lis’s head­ship and was ap­palled at the treat­ment she re­ceived.

I strongly be­lieve that she was vic­tim of a political ‘stitch up’ be­cause of her re­sis­tance to the school be­com­ing an academy.

Dur­ing her pe­riod of in­flu­ence, the school and par­tic­u­larly its re­sults, im­proved year on year.

Dur­ing my time work­ing there, I wit­nessed Mrs El­lis’s com­mit­ment, abil­ity and com­pas­sion.

She was ex­tremely strict when nec­es­sary and ap­plied cer­tain stan­dards in ar­eas where ap­pro­pri­ate.

It was ab­so­lute rub­bish to sug­gest that the school was not safe.

I was em­ployed with oth­ers to pa­trol the school grounds for this very pur­pose, su­per­vis­ing toi­lets and dis­cov­er­ing class ab­sen­teeism.

I feel par­tic­u­larly qual­i­fied to talk of th­ese things as I spent 10 years as an of­fi­cer at Rochester Borstal dur­ing my time in the Prison Ser­vice.

In your ar­ti­cle, Mr Whitcombe’s com­ments are not sup­ported by the facts and smack of pure ex­cuse mak­ing. How can Of­sted de­clare progress when the ap­palling exam re­sults clearly show the op­po­site? Dale Lee, for­mer pupil of the North Mod­ern Sec­ondary School dur­ing the late 1950s Ash­ford then re­turn to the hospi­tals be­cause they will not get nurs­ing jobs any­where else. Net­tle grasped, and ob­jec­tive achieved. Peter Lake Elm­field, Ten­ter­den sta­tion has about 4,000 park­ing spa­ces with all day park­ing priced at about £2. Ev­ery shop­ping cen­tre and hos­pi­tal has huge park­ing ca­pac­ity. They man­age it over there. ABC just adds in­ad­e­quate stick­ing plas­ter.

We need a full re­view by in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tants who will lis­ten to res­i­dents and make the rel­e­vant changes to how the coun­cil do things. The town and the res­i­dents de­serve bet­ter. John Bai­ley, chair, Willes­bor­ough Park­ing Ac­tion Group

For­mer North School head teacher Les­ley El­lis was the vic­tim of a stitch-up, says for­mer pupil Dale Lee

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