Lessons to be learned over running schools
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.