Of marked importance in King’s plan, principals will gain authority to observe teachers at work for an unlimited number of times without notice. Thus will end the barrier that made teachers sole masters of their classrooms, never to get feedback on their work and all but totally protected from consequences of repeated failure.
Alesha Webb is being home taught as there are no school places available on Sheppey
A five-year-old faces up to six months out of school due to an unprecedented demand for primary schools on Sheppey.
Alesha Webb's parents were offered a place more than 18 miles away in Faversham. Now her parents are teaching the primary school pupil at home after she was denied a place on the island.
The family moved to Eastchurch from Staplehurst in April, along with Amy’s fiance Ben Williams and their seven-month-old son Riley.
The couple are struggling to raise a deposit on a home and want to move to Sheppey where house prices are much cheaper.
The route to the school offered in Faversham
To save money, the family are staying with Mr Williams’ mother Lisa Rooney and her husband Paul in Oak Tree Close, on the Kingsborough Manor estate.
Miss Webb said she applied for Alesha’s schools to Kent County Council (KCC) months before the move.
After waiting six weeks and not getting a reply, she called to find out what had happened, only to be told her application had not been received.
She had to give her preferred schools there and then over the phone.
The 24-year-old was told there were no spots available at schools in Sheppey or Sittingbourne and the nearest available place was at Bysing Wood Primary in Faversham.
Alesha has not been in a classroom since the Easter break and now faces up to six months out of school if a place is secured on the Island in September.
She said she is unable to drive her to school because her partner Mr Williams, 27, uses their car to get to and from Sittingbourne where he is training as a HGV driver.
Miss Webb said; “It’s ridiculous. She is not getting an education I’m home schooling her myself with work books, but all she wants to do is just go to school and make friends."
She added she would like to find work but she has to look after her daughter.
Her future mother-in-law, Mrs Rooney, said: “I don’t know how they expect a five-year-old girl to go that far every day.
"I know they (KCC) have a legal obligation to provide transport but you can’t expect (her) to go in a taxi there and back every day.”
She went on to say new housing developments on the Island would put further pressure on school places.
The 46-year-old district nurse added: “I think people need to know before they move here that they will have trouble getting their children into school. It is just not right.”
KCC is working with schools to devise a short-term plan to deal with demand.
A meeting with schools is being held on Monday to agree which of them can immediately take on extra pupils until permanent expansions can be provided.
Kevin Shovelton, KCC director of education planning and access, said: “We have been expanding provision in line with our school commissioning plan and two new schools are planned for the island.
“In the short term, schools have admitted additional pupils and continue to grow to keep pace with numbers seeking places.
“However the immediate pressure on primary school places mean that in-year admissions on the Island remain challenging.”
“The council has recently written to parents to inform them of our plans to resolve the issues for the island’s schools and to avoid excessive school travel which we recognise is not in the best interest of the children.”
The former Danley Middle School in Halfway is planned to become the new home of an expanded Halfway Houses Primary, but work is unlikely to start until 2016.
It is understood the Thistle Hill estate in Minster has been earmarked as a potential site for a new primary.
Additionally, significant health and nutrition inequalities still exist across the country among geographic areas and socio-economic groups. Most vulnerable areas, in terms of maternal and child health and nutrition indicators, are districts with the highest proportion of the population working on plantations (estate sector), in rural as well as conflict-affected districts, the Health Ministry explains.
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Martinez said that lack of urgency was the adults’ fault. “Education became adult-driven and not child-driven,” she said, a common refrain of some school reformers who have attacked teachers and their unions for being more concerned about their own needs than the needs of the students.
Statistics show that 3,439 secondary school pupils in the city and 2,935 in primary school are in danger of being placed in this category after missing 15 per cent or more of their lessons so far during the last Autumn term.
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