Thanet’s Coastal Academies Trust – which covers Cliftonville Primary, Hartdown, King Ethelbert and Dane Court Grammar schools – has been chosen by the Department for Education to take over responsibility the Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate from Kent County Council.
The transfer is due to take place on January 1 next year. The decision marks the culmination of a successful year for the Trust, including news in May that it was to receive nearly £3million of government funding for improvements to buildings across the four schools.
Earlier in the year Kent County Council abandoned plans to open a new secondary free school in Margate. The authority will instead concentrate on expanding existing provision, including at Hartsdown Academy which has experienced an increase in popularity and a positive Ofsted inspection in January where the school was rated as good across all areas. Dane Court was also graded as good in July with Ofsted rating its Sixth Form as outstanding.
Royal Harbour Academy has been working with the Trust for several years as an “associate member.”
Kate Greig, who succeeded Paul Luxmoore as Chief Executive Officer of the Trust in September 2020, said: “This has been a year of hugely positive progress for all our schools and we look forward to further development next year.
“We have been working with Royal Harbour for some time and are confident that its inclusion will mean that we can grow even stronger as a group.
“We also welcome Tom Sellen as Headteacher of King Ethelbert School. He takes over from Vicky Willis, who after four years of successful leadership, moves on to pastures new. All our schools are looking forward to what 2022/2023 will bring.”
In 2020 Royal Harbour Academy was no longer graded as inadequate with serious weaknesses.
The academy, based on two sites at Newlands Lane and Stirling Way since the merger of the Marlowe and Ellington & Hereson schools in 2015, was visited by a team of four inspectors who concluded: “the school no longer requires significant improvement.”
A rating of requires improvement was made in 2020 but individual ratings of good were given for behaviour, personal development and sixth form provision.
The inadequate grading was given in September 2018. A fresh inspection is expected to take place this year.