Academy trust to take over school after bad report
Group has achieved improvements elsewhere
A failing secondary school which was rapped by Ofsted will be taken over in a bid to improve standards.
Swadelands School in Lenham was put into special measures after being branded inadequate by the education watchdog in February.
It has now been revealed the secondary, which has 650 pupils on the roll, will become part of the Valley Invicta Academies Trust (VIAT) in a bid to improve teaching.
The trust, which runs Invicta Grammar School and Valley Park School, both in Huntsman Lane, Maidstone, was approached by the regional schools commissioner and asked to make Swadelands, in Ham Lane, Lenham, part of the group.
Dr Phil Limbert, VIAT’s chief executive, said: “The regional commissioner asked we make the school a sponsored academy under the trust.
“This is another exciting opportunity for pupils and parents in Maidstone, and I look forward to informing you of our developments in building a successful multi-academy trust.”
The team, which runs the outstanding-rated Invicta Grammar School was previously appointed to turn around Valley Park School, which was also condemned by Ofsted. The secondary is now rated outstanding.
The damning Swadelands report said teaching does not motivate pupils and expectations were low, even among brighter students. It added attendance was below average and leadership had not ensured assessments of pupils’ work and progress are made.
Following the judgement, former interim executive head teacher Harry Ingham, who was appointed in January, wrote to parents.
He said: “The key finding is the school is inadequate and requires special measures in order to provide an improved standard of education.
“We understand you will be disappointed by the outcome, but I would like to point out this judgement does not reflect the qualities of the young people who attend Swadelands.”
Mr Ingham has now completed his interim period and former Valley Park head teacher Vic Ashdown has been appointed to run the secondary.
VIAT, which will create a free school in Maidstone, also sponsors four primary schools.
‘The key finding is the school is inadequate and requires special measures’
Vic Ashdown has been appointed head teacher at Swadelands School