How Turner Schools is helping Kent meet the growing secondary school population
Folkestone is growing. As one of the top ten coolest places to live, according to The Times, it’s not surprising that people are flocking to the town. Kent County Council (KCC) know that over the next five years they need to provide hundreds more secondary school places. This was why they commissioned the Turner Free School, and this is what underlines the need for both this school and Folkestone Academy. Turner Free School opened ahead of this higher pupil need, in order to ensure the school was established and performing well by the time more pupils came in.
Having reviewed the most recent pupil forecasts, the KCC has taken the sensible step of future proofing Folkestone’s school provision by asking the Turner Free School to increase its PAN. This will play a key role in making sure Folkestone’s schools are ready for higher pupil numbers in the future and can safely take on new pupils as required, rather than struggling to find enough places as the numbers increase over the next few years. Even after the free school opened, KCC calculated there would be a shortfall of 451 secondary school places by 2024-25 across Folkestone and Hythe if this action was not taken.
While Folkestone Academy currently has a number of vacancies for September, this will not be the case in the future. It is no secret that Folkestone Academy is in the process of being turned around, following on from a challenging few years. We were very clear when we took on Folkestone Academy that there was a lot of work to be done to improve the school, and that work is now well under way. Indeed, the need for improvement was the main reason why the school joined Turner Schools.
Everyone at Folkestone Academy is committed to offering students a powerful education that sets them up to thrive after school. This week, having visited the academy on Tuesday June 4, the National Schools Commissioner, Dominic Herrington, praised the progress that the school has made to date.
The changes we have introduced will help ensure that pupils develop as individuals as well as scholars. They have access to exciting partnerships with Saga, Eurotunnel and other local employers, hands-on experience at the award-winning Academy FM community radio station, and opportunities to work with great organisations like the Brilliant Club and The Book Trust.
Our doors are always open to existing and prospective parents. Please do get in touch and arrange a visit if you want to find out more about how both Turner Free School and Folkestone Academy can offer your child a high-quality education, and see the change for yourself.