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Beckenham School at centre of Harris Academy row deemed 'satisfactory'

PUBLISHED: 10:02 14 January 2011

Kelsey Park Sports College

Kelsey Park Sports College

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A school at the centre of a highly-charged debate about its future has been moved from 'inadequate' to 'satisfactory' following an Ofsted inspection.

Kelsey Park Sports College, in Manor Way, Beckenham, was forced to undergo the assessment in December after being given a notice to improve by the education watchdog and the findings of the inspectors were published on the school’s website last week.

In his report, inspector Stephen Long found that: “The quality of teaching has improved, and is reflected in students’ accelerating progress. Their attainment has been significantly below average over recent years but is rising, although it remains below the national average.”

In total, 87 per cent of parents who responded to a questionnaire sent out by inspectors agreed or strongly agreed that teaching at the school is good.

Kelsey Park made national headlines last autumn when a group of local parents began a campaign for the failing school to be taken over by the academy group Harris, which runs a number of successful institutions around London.

John Getgood, a Bromley Labour councillor who is also a governer of the school, said: “The 2010 results show that the school is back on track and the most recent Ofsted report confirms that the school is making progress. More importantly, the parents of children at the school reported that they are happy with their child’s experience at Kelsey Park.”

Commenting on the Harris into Beckenham campaign, Mr getgood said: “Coping with a determined campaign to undermine the school has made things more difficult but we should be proud of the way the school staff has worked hard to secure these improvements.”

Fiona Murphy, 39, from the group Harris into Beckenham, wrote on the Beckenhamtown.us website: “None of us local parents got what we wanted for Christmas; an outstanding local co-ed secondary school for our children. So on we go against the Bromley establishment.

The outcome of a consultation by governers on the future of the school, including the possibility of becoming an academy, is due to be published next week.

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