Royal Harbour Academy restructure to result in up to five compulsory redundancies

Royal Harbour Academy (upper site)

A restructure to ensure the Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate does not fall into a financial deficit will mean up to five compulsory staff redundancies.

RHA was formed by a merger of the Marlowe Academy and The Ellington & Hereson School in 2015 after falling student numbers and financial crisis marked the end of the Marlowe.

The government provided a £2.8 million subsidy over four years to support the merger but this fund ends next year.

With government cuts to school funding RHA head teacher Simon Pullen (pictured) said the restructure, which will come into effect from September, was necessary to keep the academy in the black.

He said: “Royal Harbour Academy has been going through a re-structure of staffing prior to the new academic year in September. When Royal Harbour Academy was created, in 2015, the government provided a £2.8 million subsidy over four years to enable the Academy to transition from two schools in to one.

“This subsidy will come to an end next year and, of course, in common with all schools, government cuts have reduced the school’s income significantly.

“Nevertheless, the re-structure has been planned to ensure the school does not go into deficit and is likely to result in a maximum of five compulsory redundancies out of a staff of 165.

“The re-structure will not affect the progress made by the school and has been minimised by the increasing number of children choosing to come to Royal Harbour Academy.

“The majority of secondary schools in the United Kingdom and indeed in Thanet have already undertaken re-structuring to cut costs as a result of government cuts or are planning to do so.”

The merger

The Marlowe Academy had historically struggled. It opened at a new £30million building on the existing Ramsgate School footprint in 2005 and was the first academy in Kent. In 2012 it was put in special measures. In 2014 it had the lowest GCSE results in the county and in its old guise as The Ramsgate School in 2002 it was branded the worst in the country with a dismal 4% pass rate and put into special measures in 2003.

RHA lower school site – formerly Ellington & Hereson

The financial crisis in 2015 spelt the end of both the Marlowe and academy status. The school returned to county council control and merged with Hereson and Ellington, itself made up from the merger of the boys school and the girls school in 2009, to become the RHA in September 2015.

Ellington & Hereson head teacher Simon Pullen took over the top role for the newly combined academy. Former Marlowe head Sean Hislop departed amidst a police investigation over a relationship with a former pupil. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.


Last year the combined school, under the umbrella of the Coastal Academies Trust,  made significant improvement in its GCSE results. Despite the overall 19% mark for maths and English combined, separately 38% of students gained A*-C in English and 24% in maths.

Their fellow pupils who had spent the past five years at Ellington and Hereson School had 61% of students achieving an A*-C in their English GCSE exam and 44% gaining an A*-C grade in the maths GCSE.  Overall 40% of those students were awarded the government benchmark of 5 A*-C  grades including English and Maths.


  1. Maybe a difference at the top might improve the schools fortune! Seems the current head is having difficulty!

    • I don’t think any of the management are on the redundancy list. All teaching and support staff.

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