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Twydall school dad: ‘We’re being kept in dark over academy plan’

A school that teaches some of Medway’s most vulnerable children is in turmoil over plans to turn it into an academy and following a poor Ofsted report, according to parents.

Confusion is mounting after Twydall Primary was put into special measures in May after being classed as “inadequate” across the board.

Twydall Primary School, Twydall Lane, Gillingham
Twydall Primary School, Twydall Lane, Gillingham

But education chiefs made a dramatic U-turn following an outcry from parents and staff and upgraded their Ofsted findings to “requires improvement”. Inspectors admitted that mistakes had been made and apologised to head teacher Sue Fedosiuk.

Mrs Fedosiuk issued a statement at the time the initial report was published saying it was “not a true and accurate reflection” of the school.

But now, with several teachers leaving and proposals to turn the school into an academy, parents are being “kept in the dark” over its future, said one parent.

The father, who did not want to be named, said: “Parents are clearly becoming very disillusioned at the lack of information coming from the school and that is why Chinese whispers of doom and gloom are now following. Parents are naturally cautious of the unknown.

“Twydall as an area is unique to the Medway Towns and has its own set of problems. And that is something that managers of the school now seem to have forgotten or have now chosen to ignore – and that is not the Twydall way.”

Twydall head teacher Sue Fedosiuk
Twydall head teacher Sue Fedosiuk

A public meeting was held to discuss the damning Ofsted report, and the parent said everyone was supportive of the head teacher. But he added: “As soon as the ‘A’ word [academy] was mentioned, the whole mood of the room changed.”

A Medway Council spokesman said: “Several teachers will be leaving the school, for other planned opportunities or retirement. This is not uncommon at this stage in the year.

“The head teacher will continue to lead the school into the next school year. Governors and parents will have the opportunity to meet the sponsor proposed by the DfE.

“This is a local trust which is committed to supporting children with special educational needs.”

Gillingham MP Rehman Chishti is taking up parents’ concerns.

Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham
Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham

He said: “I have raised their concerns with Medway Council and the Secretary of State for Education, and Ofsted are investigating the matter.

“Once I receive a response to their queries I will ensure that those who have contacted me receive a copy.”

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