When Joe failed his Kent Test he was very depressed. We chose the Chaucer as the only school looking anything like a Comprehensive in the area at the time. In order to get into the school he had to do another test; which he passed, with flying colours.
This cheered him up no end.
Joe went on to get three A levels and a First Class Honours degree. He now works in the photography industry as a freelance technician and is much in demand for his skills and his practical intelligence.
The Kent Test would have condemned him as a failure at the age of eleven. It was the Chaucer which gave him the confidence to discover where his real intelligence lay.
I’m puzzled at how the Chaucer ended up failing as a school. When my son went there, in the nineties, it was a first class institution.
My own schooling was undertaken at Sheldon Heath Comprehensive School in Birmingham. It was the first specially built comprehensive in the country and the largest.
That too, like the Chaucer, went through emergency measures recently. It closed and was re-opened as the King Edward IV Sheldon Heath Academy in 2010.
And yet the school that I went to was anything but a failure. It was a flagship school of the newly devised comprehensive system and served me and my contemporaries very well. A number of my friends went on to get degrees and to forge successful careers.
The only explanation I can think of is that successive governments have messed around so much with the education system, pulling it first one way, and then the other, that they have undermined the very foundations of education in this country.
The latest news is that the Chaucer is likely to re-open at some point in the future, but as a secondary, rather than a technology school, which sounds like an admission of failure to me.
A first class education is a right, not a privilege, and should be available to all.
- Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury will close
Hundreds of students and teachers will be forced to find other schools after education bosses confirmed an ailing Kent secondary school will close.