Lessons to be learned over run­ning schools

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

The ap­point­ment of Dr Matthew Bax­ter, head of Lang­ton Boys’, as the in­terim ex­ec­u­tive head teacher of the Lang­ton Girls is a prag­matic and in­tel­li­gent move. They may share the same name of an ob­scure 13th cen­tury Can­ter­bury archdea­con, but the schools’ for­tunes couldn’t have been more dif­fer­ent in the last decade.

While the boys’ school has soared aca­dem­i­cally, the girls has strug­gled and every year sees dozens of pupils switch to its more suc­cess­ful sib­ling for their A-lev­els.

Its woes were, of course, ex­ac­er­bated by the lead­er­ship’s at­tempt to clum­sily force through an academy project which in­ex­pli­ca­bly pro­posed ty­ing it to the Spires at Hers­den – a school whose ge­o­graphic and aca­demic dis­tance is enor­mous.

More­over, the suc­cess and fail­ure of each of these two schools has been pred­i­cated on its lead­er­ship.

Now that Dr Bax­ter is in charge, one can only fore­see a brighter fu­ture for the Girls Lang­ton.

But wouldn’t the po­ten­tial be even greater if his ap­point­ment was made per­ma­nent, a step­ping stone to­wards uni­fy­ing these two great south Can­ter­bury schools.

And while we’re on the sub­ject of ed­u­ca­tion in Can­ter­bury, we can­not avoid men­tion­ing Gra­ham Razey.

Since be­com­ing prin­ci­pal of Can­ter­bury Col­lege in Septem­ber, Mr Razey has lifted it out the mire af­ter it had been brought to its knees fi­nan­cially and spir­i­tu­ally by its un­pop­u­lar pre­vi­ous head.

Oftsed’s de­scrip­tion this week of Mr Razey as an in­spi­ra­tional leader is no over­state­ment.

Ed­u­ca­tion is one of Can­ter­bury’s great as­sets. To re­main great it needs far­sighted and ex­cel­lent lead­ers – and in Matthew Bax­ter and Gra­ham Razey we now we have two of the very best.

Things, as they say, can only get bet­ter.

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