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Canary wharf college - views?

(12 Posts)
marmiteandchocolate Wed 13-Jan-16 05:00:22

was going through the archives trying to find views of canary wharf college but all the threads seem pretty dated. anyone has DC enrolled in this school? DD is about 3 so it's time we decide whether we're going to stay or move elsewhere. the school has been rated outstanding by ofsted but this was in 2012 and there isnt much info available on key results. it's a relatively new free school so we arent quite sure what to make of things and wanted to see what views there were of the school?

01forLondon Mon 16-Jan-17 21:36:20

Resurrecting this thread to see if anyone has any views on CWC? I'm not the OP! But interested in this school for my DC, thinking of moving to the area.


IODmum Sat 07-Oct-17 15:56:36

Avoid, avoid, avoid!
It is style over substance. It's like when you buy a used car that is fine in the showroom but breaks down on the drive home. They are good at giving an appearance of doing well and impressing Ofsted but they are inexperienced and headed up by an overbearing person who has given herself the title of CEO and Executive Principal. Her reputation and the reputation of the school mean more to her than your child ever well. Your child is a commodity to conform. The school either ignore or don't understand basic statutory requirements and have no real understanding of state education. Many key staff are young and inexperienced labelled as 'home grown talent' by Ofsted - give it a while and you'll realise it's not home grown talent but rather people who cannot challenge the over inflated CEO. The school is not inclusive. It is a self -serving school founded predominantly by those who didn't want to send their child to a state school but also didn't want to pay for private school fees. There is no accountability. You cannot approach the governors if things go wrong. Instead you have to approach the EP/CEO and if things are still not resolved then she will arrange for 3 of her friends to decide what's what (check out the complaints policy). The school is not accountable to the LA so you can't ask the LA for help. Even if your child has SEN or medical needs, the school won't work with outsiders ... oh, they pretend to liaise with others though. Seriously, please just avoid. Anything that could be wrong with the free school model, this school has it.

IODmum Sat 07-Oct-17 15:59:36

See this link for a review from someone else showing a bit more of the school's true colours

01forLondon Sat 03-Feb-18 09:11:25

Very belatedly - thanks for this reply! I had since heard similar from someone locally. We're not moving to that area any more but appreciate the feedback. Bullet dodged! It did seem very marketing-y when we visited. Whereas St Luke's seemed lovely, with a great head.

localbee Thu 15-Mar-18 12:41:27

Agreed with all the comments about Canary Wharf College. I am a local resident and mum with children who love learning and want a school, which provides good role models and raises aspirations. Canary Wharf college is a huge marketing scam; I've had friends who sent their children there and don't see what the big fuss is. Teachers are usually average or lack experience, the CEO is hard to reach or is not interested. Another parent even said they 'poach' the brightest from neighbouring schools. How?
If you believe in a diverse and successful school setting for your child, this is not it. Look closely at the school and you will recognise a 'particular' type of child they like to admit. On the other hand, the neighbouring school, St. Luke's, I hear is fantastic, fun and the teachers are outstanding. This is all from local parents with children who attend this school. They get opportunities to have in depth music lessons, swimming sessions, fun workshops and exciting trips. The teachers are exceptionally hard working, experts in their field and the Head is very inspirational. This is the school for your child. Visit and you will be blown away. Unfortunately, we are moving away from the area so my child will not get an opportunity to go here.

laurisse Tue 20-Mar-18 21:56:12

You know I have visited st Luke's - and I agree with everything you say! I was blown away, and far more so than with CWC. The head at St Luke's was fab, I really warmed to her. anyway, all academic now as we're not moving here, but in case anyone searches for these schools!

extrastrongmint Wed 21-Mar-18 22:52:23

I lived in the area and had a child at the school in the not too distant past. It bills itself as having the ethos of and the same standards as a private/prep school but it it is nothing of the kind
The main issue is the gap between the principal's spin and the actual academic standards. At a meeting I attended the principal assured new parents that students made far higher than expected progress - 3 sub-levels per year relative to an "expected" 2 sublevels. The problem with this is that at the time there were only KS1 pupils in the school. and 3 sublevels is what is expected at KS1. the "reference expectation" of 2 sublevels only applies if averaged over years 1-6. So the claim that three sublevels was better than expected progress was basically a lie.

The principal also claimed pupils would receive the same education as in her former "11 thousand per year prep school in leafy surrey".
The actual performance data can be seen here .

Note in particular:
Fewer high attainers than the national or local authority average.
Lower attainment scores in maths than the local authority average.
Negative progress scores (i.e. less than national average) in maths and writing.
Boys do particularly badly with progress score -3.7 in writing, and no boys are high attainers
What excuse could account for the mediocre progress when they have brand new buildings and facilities, a class size of 20, a longer school day than normal, and far fewer pupils on FSM/pupil premium than average??

Other issues:
The measuring point for home-school distance was for several years set to be the steps at mudchute DLR which was over 200m from the school. Why? - because it moved the catchment away from the social housing on the east side of millwall park and towards the conservation area and private housing to the west of the school, i.e. they were gerrymandering their catchment into the middle class area and away from the undesirables. Furthermore although places are nominally 50% faith, 50% community, most of the community places were given to younger siblings of children admitted under the faith criteria in earlier years. This is how they've managed to engineer far lower percentage of pupil premium/FSM than the surrounding area or local authority. They can't quite rig it to be 100% middle class christian but they're trying awfully hard.
The "CEO/executive principal" is more focused on empire building than anything else. She runs the school in a rigid, autocratic style - it's her way or the highway. Any issues raised with the governors or through the complaints procedure will face a rigged jury. Normal standards of balance or accountability do not apply.
Religous ethos: the job adverts for teachers ask for candidates with "grace and courage". which is basically a buzzword saying only the devout / born-again need apply. And get used to hmyns - lots of them. My child seemed to learn a lot of hymns and no maths.
The school was not effective at dealing with special needs. One neighbour had many meetings with the school regarding their child who had a specific learning difficulty. As the CEO/Prinicipal was otherwise engaged on loftier subjects, these were mainly with her appointed deputy, who told the parents on many occasions that he "could only apologise" for failures in provision. After several such meetings they concluded that he was telling the literal truth - he could quite literally only apologise - and they removed the child from the school.
Don't believe the spin or the ofsted report. It's a mediocre school run by someone with a severe case of hubris who is riding the free school gravy train as far as they can. It's christian in name, unchristian in behaviour.

ooooooooooooo1 Wed 18-Apr-18 16:56:29

I am a parent, who is struggling in CWC. Have you moved your child out of the school? And if yes, how is he/she doing in the new one? My child has got SEN, and we don't know what to do. Both stay and move are traumatic experiences. We don't know which one is better?

ooooooooooooo1 Wed 18-Apr-18 16:59:38

Sorry, I was asking IODmum. I have read your review, and it sound like as if I have written it myself.

IODmum Mon 11-Jun-18 12:46:08

Hi ooooooooo1,
Sorry for not replying sooner. We are trying to move school but as you say moving school is stressful. I genuinely believe that the school intentionally fail certain children - I'm not sure it is the teaching staff as much, but more that children are failed by those who dictate behind the scenes what can and cannot happen to support your child. I am sure it is all with the intention so that parents will eventually move the 'less desirable' kids out of the school. The SENCO is young and inexperienced and in our experience will not advocate for you or your child, so even if she wanted to help she can't/won't. With the CEO being dominant in decisions and the SENCO not a part of the senior leadership and not being prepared/able to advocate for your child effectively, we see no choice other than to leave. Schools know, I believe, that parents don't want to raise formal complaints either as then they won't want to send their child in. It's a horrible situation to be put in and I feel for you, as we are in the same boat. I have realised that the CEO responds very well to flattery - so if you haven't yet met with her to resolve things you could try that tack.... It might work but I can't guarantee it and she is probably well aware of your difficulties. She is proud and as extrastrongmint has put above, we too have experienced her dishonesty - it is shocking how easily it trips off her tongue and until you are at the receiving end of it, it is somewhat hard to believe. So, my opinion is you could try flattery - "we are so grateful for your time," "thanks so much for the opportunity to be a part of a fantastic school," etc and then put your requests in an attempt to salvage the placement. I'd suggest making sure you keep good records of all conversations (personally, record it on your phone - just in case!) as they will be used against you if the school decide they want you out. I hope it works out for you and your child, either there or elsewhere.

duriandurian Mon 11-Jun-18 21:34:07

We went for a look see back in 2014 and realised from the photos of her embracing David Cameron and Michael Gove that it wasn't the school for us.
Smart marketing but deliberately socially exclusive. And the kind of place where a child wearing the wrong kind of socks wasn't allowed to do P.E..
Good luck

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