Plans for new secondary school at former Royal School for Deaf Children site ditched

Royal School for Deaf Children Photo Melissa Carr Photography

Plans for a new Margate secondary at the former Royal School for Deaf Children site have been officially shelved.

Kent County Council has confirmed it now wants to expand existing schools in Thanet including Ursuline College and King Ethelbert’s School with a temporary expansion planned at the Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate.

The u-turn was effected by former council leader, Paul Carter on October 17.

Melissa Carr Photography

The Isle of Thanet News previously reported in July that a contingent from Kent County Council had a meeting with the Department for Education on June 17 to discuss options for dropping the plan.

The proposal had originally been to open this year at the former Walmer School site with 150 pupils and then transfer to the new build in 2020 with pupil numbers predicted to double and the school roll having students from Year 7-Year 9. By 2022/23 the school was to have had 690 pupils enrolled.

This timing was then moved back, according to KCC’s 2019-2023 education commissioning plan, which proposed the school opening in temporary accommodation in 2020 with 120 Year 7 places, and in 2021 on the new site.

The move was to tackle a predicted shortfall of 309 Year 7 places in Thanet by 2022/23 if no action is taken. Across years 7-11 this could mean a shortage of 1256 places by 2022/23.

Two initial applications for sponsors of the school did not receive consent from the Department for Education as part of its free schools programme.

Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council, said: “On Thursday, October 17, the then Leader of Kent County Council (Paul Carter) approved a variation to the existing school place planning in Thanet. The decision effectively reversed a previous decision made by the council, to establish a new secondary school on the former Royal School for Deaf Children site in Margate, by terminating an Academy Presumption process published in November 2017.

“Instead the intention is to permanently expand Ursuline College in Westgate and King Ethelbert’s School in Birchington and permit a temporary expansion at Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate. The final decision will be made by the Department for Education and will be subject to normal KCC and statutory school consultations.”

The decision could still be reversed by the Department for Education.


  1. this decision has saved £20 millions for Kent residents, l was asked for my option as the local councillor and I agree with the decision.

  2. The site is privately owned and any decisions will be subject to a planning application to Thanet council . As a county councillor I will have no say in its future

  3. My personal thought is that it will be another housing development in the wrong area. However, if this saves the rape of the Westgate and Birchington grade 1 farm land I will be quite content.

    • nothing in this beautiful Kent area is safe with the dodgy footmen trampling over peoples lives for their own good pocket money
      short fall of housing comes to paul carters mind ex leader but his pal voted in old goughy! Jolly Roger for more pirating shannigans!
      leave our land alone
      you lot should be kicked out for failing all people in Kent and should be ashamed
      investing pension funds twice
      doing road works at the sea front in ramsgate for no pay at all over the 20 year offshore leaks situation that most people in Kent know nothing about
      the use of Manston airport to again offshore leaks companies
      KCC are highly paid officers who cut services to put up their wages
      but losers in the long term
      sack the lot of you for failing people in kent
      what area is there apart from care or shop work
      hardly enticing
      and no more migrants unless you got jobs for them
      or I am paying their wage do feck all just like the KCC people do who sit and argue the toss about someone who speaks the truth but the council lies

      TDC and the East Kent Housing situation ….shame on this council

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