KGV announces new chair of governors
King George V College (KGV) is pleased to announce the appointment of Julian McInerney as the new Chair of Governors of the college’s Board.
Adele Wills, Principal at KGV, said Mr McInerney was chosen for the role after sitting on the board of governors for five years.
“On behalf of the senior leadership team I’d like to congratulate Mr McInerney on his appointment,” she said.
“I’m honoured to be selected as the new chair of governors. My son and daughter both studied here, and I’m keenly aware how important KGV is to Southport,” Mr McInerney said.
“As chair of governors my priority is to continue the work already underway, and to return KGVto its rightful place as an outstanding college.
“Last year was a challenging one, but the governors and senior leadership team are well placed to reinvigorate KGV.”
Mr McInerney said that four of the five years he has been on the Board were spent as a parent governor, after being chosen by parents to represent them at board level.
Ms Wills said the appointment is one of a number of changes to the governing body, following Ofsted’s inspection in September.
“These changes will strengthen the relationship and interaction between the college and board.
“We have already taken decisive steps to improve the college, and we are committed to working together for our students – our number one priority.
“We are working with Ofsted and the Sixth Form Colleges Commissioner on a dedicated plan of action to turn the college around.
“Part of this has involved seekingassistance from an outstanding sixth form college, whose team has helped us to develop a robust performance management plan, that is already having a significant impact.“
Mr McInerney replaces Dr John Rostron MBE, who served as chair of governors for 17 years.
Ms Wills said: “I would like to extend my personal thanks to John, as well as the thanks of my staff, for his work guiding the college forward over the past 17 years.
“During this distinguished term, he played a key role in shaping the college as one of Southport’s premier institutions.
“His tireless service to the cause has always been in the best interests of KGV’s staff and students. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Update: King George V College Respond To The Recent Poor OFSTED Report
A KGV spokesperson said:
“King George V College (KGV) is acting on Ofsted’s recommendations to improve the college, and return it to its rightful place as the best college in the area. KGV is acting in the interests of its students who are its number one priority.
“The senior leadership team at KGV has produced an action plan on the steps needed to achieve this, and is working through these actions and making the changes.
“The recent interim visit is a routine part of the Ofsted inspection process, following the full inspection in September.
“The leadership team at KGV has sought assistance from an outstanding sixth form college, whose team has helped them to develop a robust performance management plan, that is already having a significant impact.
“KGV is looking forward to receiving its second monitoring visit in January, when it will demonstrate the changes that have been made and the significant improvements to students’ educational experience.
“Since the inspection the team has been meeting regularly with parents to discuss their concerns, and is holding drop-in sessions to allow students to talk to us directly about the inspection and how it has affected them.”
King George V College Gets A Second Bad Ofsted Report
After being marked as inadequate in October by OFSTED, KGV was re-assessed in November. The findings do not make good reading for Principal Adele Willis.
This was the first re-inspection monitoring visit to King George V College following the publication of the most recent inspection report on 23 October 2014, which found the college to be inadequate overall.
At the inspection in October, outcomes for learners, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and the effectiveness of leadership and management were judged inadequate.
Inspectors graded three subject areas; English and modern foreign languages and business and law were judged to require improvement, and science was judged inadequate.
This first monitoring visit focused on the improvement action plan, the culture of low expectations for learners, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, performance management, and governance.
What progress have leaders and managers made in changing the culture of low expectations for learners?
A minority of teachers continue to resist making changes to improve the quality of provision, and have not implemented early improvement actions required by managers in, for example, the assessment of learners’ work. Senior managers are aware of this, but they have not yet taken decisive action to address noncompliance.
Staff have not given sufficient attention to ensuring that learners are fully prepared for
learning or to developing their understanding of the standards expected in a work environment. Too many learners arrive at lessons with disorganised files and many do not remove their coats during lessons. A small minority of teachers do not maintain an appropriately professional standard of appearance.
The college has one overall target for learners’ success and another for the progress that learners make from their starting points. The targets are appropriately challenging and relevant for the AS-level programme. However, they are less relevant for A-level and vocational programmes.
They are not sufficiently ambitious to enable the college to return to its previous high level of performance, and do not take sufficient account of progress from AS- to A-level programmes, the requirements of study programmes, or the destinations of learners.
A spokesman for the Concerned KGV Students Group said:
“Despite countless attempts to communicate our opinions and educational needs, we have been consistently ignored and patronised by management. We have little or no faith in the management and governors.”
Read: Full report
Update: KGV College Southport respond to students that rebelled against dismissals of high achieving members of staff
spokesperson from KGV College said
“KGV has acted on Ofsted’s recommendations to improve the college, and return it to its rightful place as the best college in the area.
These actions have been taken in the interest of students, to help us move forward and put this disappointing report behind us.
King George V College’s Principal and senior team acknowledges the concerns of students following Ofsted’s inspection in September.
Since then the team has been meeting regularly with parents to discuss their concerns, and is holding drop-in sessions to allow students to talk to us directly about the inspection and how it has affected them.
These drop-in sessions will continue to be held twice a week for students, and we encourage anyone who has concerns to come along and speak to the team”.
KGV Students rebel against dismissals of high achieving members of staff
KGV Students rebel against dismissals of high achieving members of staff – Letter the editor (Tuesday 2nd December 2014)
Today OTSnews was contacted by two ‘A’ Level second year students from KGV, one quoted
“Students refused to leave the office at KGV this afternoon (Tuesday 2nd December 2014) unless they were allowed to speak to sixth form commissioners – in protest at constructive dismissals of high achieving members of staff, what is going on?
Teachers are being shuffled out of post mid-term, putting ‘A’ level students results in jeopardy?”
Another A Level student quoted
“We just want to keep the teachers that help us at this difficult time, we rely on them for guidance and support.”
This all comes After OFSTED scored KGV the lowest possible grade across the board following their unannounced inspection of the college in September.
Students have set up e-petition – Acknowledge the students!
A Concerned Student at KGV
Southport, United Kingdom
Thank you anybody who is willing to sign this petition; it is imperative that we draw as much attention as possible to this issue, so please do spread the petition to everybody you can.
I would like to remind people that I can only speak from personal experience so please, if you have any comments on this issue, add them when signing the petition!
I am creating this petition in lieu of the recent news that the Biology teacher, Mr Cliff Sharp, is leaving King George V after over twenty years of service to the generations of students who have studied here (I am also aware of Mr John Ranson of Modern Foreign Languages leaving the college, however I cannot comment on that personally as I know very little about the situation). I personally do not believe that students studying in the Biology department have been duly informed of what this means for them. There has been little notification of when Mr Sharp is expected to depart, nor has there been much insight into who will replace him on a permanent basis. The truth is, if Mr Sharp is to leave the college part-way through the academic year, it will inevitably be detrimental for some students whom he teaches. Regardless of the quality of any replacement, this will be incredibly disruptive at a time when one needs little distraction from their studies.
With one full-time teacher leaving the Biology department, this results in a total of three remaining teachers teaching the three core science subjects at A2 level: Dr Chris Duncombe-Moore in Biology, Mrs Jane Wells in Chemistry, and Mr Peter Ware in Physics. All three are exceptional teachers who I have had the experience of being taught by, yet they are now under ever-increasing stress as they must adapt to deliver effective teaching to a student group that is far larger than they can efficiently accommodate. I cannot speak for other departments as I have no experience of them, yet it is infuriating that at this time in the year such gigantic decisions have been thrust upon both the remaining teachers and the students, who have been told very little.
I will take a moment here to express my anger at the recent letter that was sent out addressed to the parents of students. I do not believe that my parents should receive a letter expressing how “exciting” this change is for the subject and the college when the college has failed to inform me directly what is happening. I am an adult, and I would view every student at college capable of understanding what this means for them; it is by no means exciting. To have such a significant change happen during the academic year could potentially have a severe impact on those who had adapted to Mr Sharp’s method of teaching. This is one of primary reasons why I have started this petition; do not treat students as if we do not understand how this will affect us- we understand exactly how this will affect us.
I would implore the college to survey the students anonymously, and have them provide their opinions on their teachers, for their subjects. I would also ask for them to survey the students about the management of the college, and in particular how recent changes to staffing have been handled. The time for complacency with college affairs has passed; as an A2 student who has high aspirations for the future, I do not want to be held back by decisions made without informing me or my peers. The decisions that affect the college affect me; they affect my life. Most A2 students are either in the process of submitting their UCAS applications, or they have already submitted them. I am one of the latter. The typical offers I may receive from universities for my course range from AAA to A*A*A; I cannot afford any degradation in quality of teaching, or any disruption to my learning. I believe anonymity is key when assessing the opinion of the student body regarding decisions that could significantly affect the structure of the college. People may not express their true opinion on something that is affecting them detrimentally for fear of repercussions, hence why I have opted to conceal my identity whilst writing this petition.
Students are not merely sets of statistics that allude to their qualification history; they are individuals, and they each possess their own strengths, weaknesses, interests, and dislikes in every subject they study. Every teacher should understand this, and I would praise the aforementioned as being outstanding in their efforts to adapt their methods of teaching to the individual, yet with the removal of Mr Sharp, those remaining have had their time stretched even thinner, and consequently their ability to adapt their teaching will suffer. Take for example the fact that there are, to my knowledge, two A2 Physics classes, three A2 Chemistry classes, and four A2 Biology classes; using the Fermi estimate that there are roughly 20 students per class, that amounts to approximately 40 students studying Physics, 60 studying Chemistry, and 80 studying Biology. Before even accounting for the number of AS classes, and students, you stumble upon the realisation that there is little time for a single teacher to cater for each individual studying their subject.
Ofsted’s recent grading of the college stand out to myself, as a student studying science at the college, as invalid; I do not understand the justification that despite a significant range in the grades of students, with some achieving exceptional marks above 90%, the quality of teaching can be graded as inadequate. I have experience this teaching first hand; I have achieved marks I see as exceptional; I have witnessed the effort that these teachers have put into catering for myself as an individual, and other students- do not tell me that my experience is unique; that it is rarely replicated, as I know many students who share my opinion. I would argue it is not the job of an A-level teacher to produce interest in a subject in those students who lack it; it is to develop the interest of those who already possess it. There are students who took their subjects because they are passionate about them, and there are those who took their subjects because they had to pick four. Condemning a perfectly good teacher for the complacency of a student is fallacious- at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the teacher to teach, and the student to study, not only in the classroom but also at home.
The attempted response of the college to Ofsted’s concerns regarding teaching feel ill-informed, and rushed; the introduction of both self, and peer assessment into lessons has its benefits, however it should not come at the cost of valuable teaching time (a point I would also stress in reference to the recent increase in monitoring by senior management, where I have witnessed students’ working folders being taken for them to be looked at whilst in the midst of a lesson). It is just as important that changing the way lessons are coordinated does not affect the learning of an individual; in Maths we have now been forced to convert to a learning style that emphasises teamwork- whilst the ability to work as a team is inherently beneficial, in larger classes there are occasions where students have to face away from the teacher in order to sit and work in this new arrangement. How can a student be expected to learn, when they cannot even see the board they are supposed to be learning from?
Despite being critical of Ofsted’s assessment of the college in the area of teaching, with what little knowledge I have of the management I would agree with Ofsted’s grading. It seems that the structure of the college leadership is fundamentally flawed; the fact we lack dedicated monitors for subject categories is of key importance. The only people I believe are qualified to criticise and condemn Science teachers are scientists, and the same is true for History teachers and historians, Politics teachers and politicians. You must possess a significant understanding of a subject in order to tell somebody that they are not teaching that subject correctly. The fact that the college does not have a system like this in place, and instead has cross-subject monitoring whereby those who assess teachers for competency understand potentially very little about the subjects they are observing, is incredibly disturbing.
The issue of the new Creative Arts building is also concerning; the latest minutes from a meeting of the college Governors, dated 11th August 2014 (accessible at: http://www.kgv.ac.uk/areas/contact/governors.php) talks of specific agreements “relating to the loan in respect of the new building and the related legal charge”. In the minutes, it is clear that there was an agreement to a loan of £1,148,000 from the National Westminster Bank by the college governors. I would like to ask the governors why they believe loans of such huge sums of money are even considerable, when the college does not even possess the funds to correctly staff all subjects, including those that would be relocated to the new building. It seems fundamentally impractical to enter large amounts of debt when the Fearn building, which would likely be cheaper to repair and refurbish, could be used to accommodate classes.
It is clear that the management of the college is not correctly evaluating the needs of the students, and therefore I would like to conclude this explanation with reference to its title: Acknowledge the students- talk to us, and make your decisions by considering our opinions.
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