Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Council “turn back” on most improved school in Britain

CHAFFORD Hundred school, lauded, last year, as the most improved school in the United Kingdom is in danger of having £1.4 million worth of funding for its sixth form centre withdrawn by Thurrock Council.

The news marks a low point in the relationship between the school and the local education authority and may, once again, see a school in Thurrock choose to become an academy and “free itself” from local authority control.

YT understands that the decision to pull the funding is based on the school refused to teach Construction and Motor Mechanics.

Thurrock Council has defended its decision.

A spokesperson said: “In September 2010 the council agreed to offer funds to develop vocational learning facilities at Chafford Hundred Campus jointly with
any subsequent post-16 facilities developed by the school.

The funds are from a specific grant and its conditions are that it must be used to support vocational education and/or Special Educational Needs. Since September 2010 there have been several discussions with the school about the proposed joint facility.

The school has advised the council that the vocational offer proposed by the council did not match their plans for the school. Thurrock Council
and the school jointly agreed to refer the vocational education proposal back to the 14-19 Partnership Group for them to consider further.

This group which represents all schools and colleges in the area have agreed to consult with schools on further options.

Their feedback will be fully considered by the council in due course before any further decisions are made.

YT spoke to headteacher, Chris Tomlinson about the controversy and where the school goes from here.


  1. Whilst I can sympathise with the Head Teacher at Chaff Campus but why should money be diverted to this school when there are other schools within the borough that need complete improvments and do not get the required cash flow.

  2. Michael i am not sure that i agree with your headline that the council turned its back on the school.

    I think that it was more of a case that the school tried to move the goalposts and was rightly told no moeny then. If the money was ringfenced to the school for construciton and engineering and this was agreed then the school cannot just change their mind that it no longer fits with the schools vision but still expect to recieve the 1.4 million to develop its own sixth form.

    I take my hat off to the work that Chris Tomlinson has done at Chafford but if he has changed his mind about delivering this element in his school curriculum then quiet rightly the money needs to be diverted to a school that is willing to provide the facility for its pupils.

  3. i thought chafford campus was a business college,why would he want to get into banger racing and bricklaying?,most parents around here would put their trust in mr Tomlinson rather than thurrock council.

  4. From my understanding the money is to allow for schools to develop post 16 education, not for anything else, guess there are some government guidelines here.

    All of those that would like some of these funds have to make a bid, and list exactly what they are going to offer. Chris made a bid, listed what he was going to offer, and first time round they got nothing, then surprise surprise a change of heart here is some money. The authority made a big song and dance and it was in the press. However a lot later the authority made some restrictions to gaining access and said this is what you have to offer with regards to education. And the school with support from the stake holders said sorry, that is not what we are offering.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


More articles