My old school, bottom again
My old secondary school never had a good reputation. In Kent we still have selective secondary eduation with the highest graded juniors going to what used to be called grammar schools. I didn't work hard enough at junior school so while my brother went to Chatham Grammar School for Boys, I went to Upbury Manor High School (for dimwits and future car thieves ;)
I left there in 1990 and not long after the schools inspectors, Ofsted, named it as a "failing school". A new headmaster was brought in and it improved just enough to avoid being closed. Later in the '90s it joined the trendy government program to become a 'specialist' school and gain some extra funding for it's chosen area of speciality. They chose arts (presumably because it's easier to bump the grades a little than it is for maths or english) and the school was renamed Upbury Arts College to make it sound more impressive. Another Gillingham school (Woodlands road) was closed with pupils transferring to Upbury. Then the government came up with another scheme to try and improve failing schools by attracting more funding through gimmicks and the Academy schools program was born. Upbury joined up and the school was renamed again to New Brompton College (Brompton is an area of Gillingham near the school).
Today New Brompton College was in the news because it was the lowest ranked Academy school in the country. A table from the BBC website shows that of the schools in the local area it is ranked last with an astoundingly low figure of only 9% of pupils achieveing the basic standard of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above - a standard that is really, really easy to gain. The most amazing part of the story is this quote from the Reuters story on Academy schools:-
Headteacher Judy Rider said she recognised that the results were "extremely poor", but Medway Council said it had every confidence in her and her management team.
Well, the council would say that as they appointed the management.
hiya i typed “new brompton college” into google and i got onto ur website. i used 2 go 2 thats skl and i h8ted it! i now go 2 rivermead in gillingham.
sam () - 07 06 06 - 19:13
i ust to go to this school and it ust to be really bad but yea i guess it has improved i left in yr 8 coz i moved over to aussie land (australia) and yea well bye
stacy wood () - 05 08 06 - 23:56
it is gd skool now
??? - 01 08 07 - 15:16
Not if the standard of spelling in your comment is anything to go by.
Rich - 01 08 07 - 18:27
I too was a dodgy primary student. Come to think of it, I wasn’t a much better Secondary student. However, my memories of Upbury Manor are very different to yours. Wanker though I may have been, I have never stopped being grateful for the marvelous people from Upbury Manor who influenced my life. Okay, arts if you like. In my days (60’s and early 70’s), Upbury was undoubtedly the best school around for music. Quite a few of the teachers there gave there free time willingly to encourage young assholes like me, and I got hooked which led me to travel the world as a sax player and eventually meet my wife of 27 years. These days we own and run a couple of English schools and a private primary school. It’s great work which will never make me rich financially but the rewards are plentiful and that’s what makes me appreciate the teachers that had to put up with horrible young brats like me.
It was great to find your site. Please drop me a line when you get time. My wife, Patty, and I have been living in Cozumel Mexico for the past 26 years but we escape to England during the summer hols.
Brian Davis () - 08 10 07 - 20:34
Just reread my message and I owe you a THEIR.
No doubt a lot of what you say is true. I just prefer to remember the possitive. And there really was plenty of that.
B. Davis () - 08 10 07 - 20:46
Dear Richard, the blog was great and I must say very true!! It seems soo soo similar to ME!! I too went up Ubury mannor an also was from Woodlands as u mention but then got moved to upbury as that closed down with no surprise! My older brother go into Rainham mark grammar school one of the best schools in the area while i went to the worst! however i still managed to love Upbury as a school and the people their who i met..best off i even managed to get 9 GSCEs!!! A-C grades all may i add (which was RARE)!!!
I am now at university studying Law, which goes to show that it doest mattter what school u went to even if it was the crappest school in town, as i now go to one of the best universities to study my law degree..
many people would find this very hard to believe and when i tell people where im from, as in High school…they are very shocked and surprised!!
Soniya Gill () - 18 07 08 - 16:13
I went to Upbuty Manor in the early 60’s and I really didn’t know what I was there for, in fact I used to take Fred the mpuse to school and play with it most of the day! I have grown out of carrying a mouse with me as have better things to do thatn go to shcool! School didn’t do me any favours!!!
jackie - 03 11 09 - 09:27