Thanet Skills Studio students meet KKC deputy cabinet member for education Cllr Margaret Crabtree
Students and staff in Thanet have been praised following a top level Kent county Council education visit.
Cllr Margaret Crabtree, deputy cabinet member for education and health reform, was “exceedingly impressed” during a whistle stop tour of the area.
Her itinerary included Thanet Skills Studio at Westwood, Hartsdown Academy, Cliftonville Primary and The Westwood Centre.
After her trip she praised the attitude and behaviour of the pupils and students she had met. She added: “I am also so impressed with the commitment of the staff I have seen at all the centres I have visited. It is clear they pass this enthusiasm right through to the students – it really shines through.”
At TSS where students are taught skills with the accent on meeting the needs of local employers, she visited the health and social care section that includes a mini hospital ward, and the catering department and kitchens.
She also met a group of students in a child care class where they were tending programmed computerised babies who they have to care for round the clock for a fixed period of time responding to their needs. Students also met mums and their babies whose visit is part of the first-hand knowledge element of the coursework.
Cllr Crabtree then experienced the work of the global classroom in action at Hartsdown Academy in Margate where students who have little or no spoken English are integrated into college life when they first join the school.
She chatted to staff and saw how the board game My New School, which Hartsdown co-developed, encourages new students to learn about the school and how it works. (The game was presented to Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove during a visit to the area last year after he was impressed with its effective aims and objectives.)
Cllr Crabtree said: “This is a fantastic way of communicating important information to these young people. It was pleasing that every student’s national flag is represented on the classroom walls to make them feel immediately welcome.
At Cliftonville primary Cllr Crabtree heard about the school’s partnership programme with other Thanet schools, and how the overall school performance continues to improve across the board. She visited pupils from reception through to Year 6 and was impressed at the lively and stimulating lessons.
She was joined on the first part of the schedule on a visit to The Westwood Centre pupil referral unit by fellow deputy cabinet member for education and health reform Cllr Michael Northey who also chatted with staff and students.