Crowstone Preparatory School is a non-selective Independent Day School for boys and girls from the age of 2½ to 11. Places are therefore offered to applicants on a first come, first served basis as and when spaces are available but is dependent upon the suitability of potential students to integrate into our School environment. The School reserves the right to refuse admission.
Preference is given to children of staff, siblings of current pupils and children of ex-pupils. Where places are not immediately available the application will join a waiting list in the order the application is received.
To End an Era
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On Wednesday 6 July the school will close its doors for the last time. It is a sad day but we hope that we have achieved closure in a calm and timely manner which has allowed pupils enough time to find and transition to new schools. Certainly the pupils who have remained are still enjoying what Crowstone has to offer.
We thank everyone for their kind words of support. They have been a great solace as we too consider our futures.
It is usual for us to put on an event at the end of term to celebrate the Year 6's moving on to their new schools. In recent years we have opened this out to the whole school and with visits to Belchamps Scout Activity Centre. This year we had planned to visit Rope Runners and Old MacDonald's Farm - however, this was not possible in the end. But, we still think that we should try to honour this tradition in some form and arrange something for our pupils.
Therefore, on the afternoon of Wednesday 6 we shall hold a small concert in our hall for our remaining pupils and parents, from 2pm. This will be our final assembly, bring your tissues... From 4pm we hope to see as many of you as possible at Base Jump in Rayleigh, followed by a meal in the Harvester, just next door from 5:30pm. Parents will need to book slots for their children at Base Jump before Wednesday but Isla has already booked a table at the Harvester.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Crowstone Preparatory School To Close After 70 years.
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Crowstone Preparatory School in Westcliff will close its doors on Wednesday 6th July 2016 after 70 years. Despite recently being rated as one of the top 100 independent schools in the country, two years running, the school has become the latest casualty in the independent sector. Small, independent schools struggle to meet both the economic and administrative pressures, whilst keeping class sizes low and giving the individual attention that so many children need. Mr J P Thayer, Headmaster says ‘It is with a heavy heart that I announce the closure of our school in July. We have seen over 3,000 pupils pass through our doors, all of whom have gone on to do great things and are a credit their parents and the school.'
Headmaster's Letter To Parents:
26th May 2016
Dear Parents, Colleagues, Friends,
I write to you with a heavy heart. The last few months have been very testing for any number of reasons. I have received letters from a growing number of parents giving the required period of notice of withdrawal of a pupil. They all begin, “We have carefully considered our options but...” or, “We love the School but...” and so on. Each pupil who has left, citing too small a class, sadly perpetuates the conundrum.
I have carefully considered our options and have, sadly, concluded that the school is unable to continue with pupil numbers as they are. Regrettably, following lengthy discussions and much soul searching, the School cannot reopen in September for the 2016/17 Academic Year and will close its doors for the final time on Wednesday 6th July 2016. I am aware that a number of you have already researched options at other schools and I urge to put these options into action. I will make every endeavour to assist those who have not considered this outcome to find and gain entry to their next school. I am desperately working to find funds to meet payroll; a shortfall which is the direct result of a number of parents who left without notice and/or without payment of fees-due or fees-in-lieu of notice who did not recognise their legal and moral obligation to the school and its tight community. I am bitterly disappointed that the school should close on a sour note.
It is true that every academic year sees pupil transfers, both in to and out of the school. This year we saw a significant number of pupils leave for perfectly legitimate reasons; changes in admissions criteria, new homes, new jobs, relocations. We did not see the same influx resulting in a net loss. Therefore class sizes were reduced for protracted periods and remaining parents became concerned that our “small classes” were, ironically, too small. Previously these places have been filled and equilibrium restored. Recent interest from the reduced fees, new website and 70th Anniversary Fete has been encouraging but is insufficient to make the school viable in the time we have – we apologise to our most recent registrations, we will be unable to process their admissions.
In my view the school has suffered for a number of reasons. It can be said, that the business of Schools and Education was changing whilst we got on with the practice of educating. This was harshly reflected in the written Ofsted report which highlighted our failings in compliance with the many new and constantly updating Standards - whilst our SATs results placed us in the Top 100 Independent Schools for two years. I am confident that we shall also see excellent results in this years SATs, following the new National Curriculum. It is also widely accepted that the report does not reflect the family values and ethos of the school nor the hard work and dedication given by the staff.
Another factor has been the increase in gossip at and around the School Gate and anonymous inaccuracies and gross exaggerations on social media, which has unsettled otherwise loyal parents. Rumours that “the school is closing” have therefore become self-fulling - when we had no plans to close even just a few months ago.
However, I have never experienced such a period of loss of confidence in me or in the School as I have witnessed in the last few months. I therefore feel that I should retire and relieve myself and my family of the immense pressure and stress of running this, our school and our home, Crowstone Preparatory School. We feel we can no longer manage due to the increased pressure, issues with health, especially that of Mrs Thayer and of course, falling numbers.
I was pleased that our Fete enabled us to celebrate our 70th Anniversary. It seemed right and proper, despite everything, to mark such an achievement. The success of the day was due to a small group of parents (some of whom are family) who expressed total support for the school and a determination that such an event should take place. My thanks also to Sir David Amess for his kind words on the day, but also his support over many, many years. My thanks to a number of families who have willingly given assistance during the last few months. Your loyalty has been greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten.
I do not know how many children I have taught during my career, which started in 1964 at Hullbridge Primary. I do know that it has been a pleasure to have tutored them all and to have been a brief guiding force in their lives. The last 36 years have been particularly pleasing as this has been my school, my vision for their future. Those I have met, in later life, seem to have grown into fine adults who have secured a solid future for themselves. They are a credit to their parents and to themselves. To current pupils I can only wish the same self-confidence in themselves and success for their futures. I hope you will take fond memories of your time here at Crowstone.
My thanks to staff, past and present for their hard work and dedication to the school for so many years. I could not have wished for a more committed workforce and I wish them a positive future.
Crowstone Preparatory School (Sept. 1980 – July 2016)
For info: key stage 2 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
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This email is an official communication from the Standards and Testing Agency.
Key stage 2 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
Pearson, the external supplier responsible for marking the key stage 2 (KS2) tests, uploaded the KS2 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test to their secure marker portal for a short period of time yesterday. We are urgently investigating this breach of the test content.
The marker portal can only be accessed by Pearson's approved markers, all of whom are under secure contract. Any distribution of confidential materials is a clear breach of that contract.
We have no evidence to suggest that any sensitive information has been shared publicly, and the validity of the test has not been compromised.
Teachers and schools must still administer the test today as planned.
Assessment update, sent Tuesday 10 May
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Wrist bands for all day use of the bouncy castles, sumo suits and assault course at this weekend's fete will be £4 per child! Bands are available on the day but if you wish to purchase in advance, please could you bring your money to the School Office.
(Procedures)Open or Close
This policy applies all staff, volunteers and pupils in the School, including in the EYFS.
The complaints procedure at Crowstone Preparatory School has three stages, to be covered in a period of 28 days excluding school holidays and weekends between the complaint being made and the final resolution.
A record of complaints made to the school is kept – along with the stage at which the complaint was resolved. Records are kept for at least three years. The school will provide Ofsted, on request, with a written record of all complaints made during any specified period, and the action which was taken as a result of each complaint.
Stage 1 - Informal complaint (Resolution within 5 working days)
All complaints may be made on an informal basis initially; verbally or in writing. Sections A-F deal with any informal complaints. In many instances issues will be dealt with straight away. Where further information is required every effort will be made to make an initial response within 24 hours of the issue being raised.
A Complaints by parents about a member of staff
- Direct discussion with parents and Headteacher
- Direct discussion with member of staff followed by conversation between member of staff and parents and aggrieved parties
- Action on points raised agreed
- Review situation
B Complaints by parents about another child.
- Class teacher involved immediately.
- If necessary, playground supervisors involved and class teacher to observe in the playground.
- All teachers are informed at staff meetings for classroom awareness.
- “Complaining” parents telephoned; procedures explained; offered opportunity to talk further and asked to telephone immediately with any further/future concerns.
- Conflict noted on children’s profiles and SMT ensure where possible that class teacher/tutor mitigates conflicts.
- In instances of bullying the procedure is outlined in our anti-bullying policy
- Where necessary steps will be taken in accordance in the school Behaviour and Exclusions policy
C Complaints by a child about a child.
- All parties are separately seen by staff, as a fact collecting exercise.
- Staff are informed in staff meetings.
- Parents are informed
- In instances of bullying the procedure is outlined in our anti-bullying policy
- Where necessary steps will be taken in accordance in the school Behaviour and Exclusions policies
D Complaint by a member of staff about a colleague.
This is usually made to the Headteacher either informally or in appraisal.
- Informally: the Headteacher discusses matter with member of staff and offers to intervene tactfully. Usually the member of staff chooses to speak to the other staff member him/herself. SMT ensure that situations likely to cause friction/ aggravation between staff concerned are avoided.
- In appraisal; Procedures as above, though the complaint is noted. In order to maintain a happy community, all staff are asked by the Headteacher in appraisal, if they have any concerns
- If the complaint is about the Headteacher the complaint should be made to Ofsted.
E Complaints by residents
- Whoever takes the call, listens sympathetically and collects as much information as possible.
- Subsequent action varies according to information.
Stage 2 - Formal Complaint (Resolution within 10 working days)
Where the complainant(s) are not satisfied with the response of the school, through the procedures outlined above they may register a formal complaint. This should be done in writing to the head,including,
- The nature of the complaint
- The reasons for their dissatisfaction with the school’s response
The head will meet with the complainant as soon as is practical, to discuss the matter and, if possible, to reach a resolution at this stage. Where a complaint is received during a school holiday, it will be deemed to have reached the school on the first full school day following its arrival. It may be necessary to carry out further investigations. The head will keep written records of all complaints, and of meetings held in relation to them.
Once the head is satisfied that all the relevant facts have been established, a response to the complaint will be made and the complainant will be informed in writing, within ten school days: the nature of the response will depend on the nature of the complaint but it will always give a judgement whether and to what extent, if at all, the complaint is justified, and reasons; the response may include actions which the school intends to take or a decision. A complainant who is not satisfied should proceed to the next stage.
Stage 3 – Independent Resolution - Panel Hearing (Resolution within 13 working days)
If Stage 2 has not resolved a complaint satisfactorily, the complainant should write within five school days to the head, requesting a hearing before the complaints panel, who will acknowledge the letter of complaint.
At this point the school will:
- Convene a panel of one of the proprietors, a member of the SMT not involved in the matters detailed in the complaint, and either one or two represesentives depending upon the particular circumstances, representatives will be independent of the running of the school
- Send a letter to the parents inviting then to attend the panel, along with someone to accompany them if they wish
- Provide that the panel is able to make findings and recommendations; and ensure that minutes and recommended actions of the panel are kept for three years.
- Ensure that a copy of the panel’s findings and recommendations is –
- provided to the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about; and
- available for inspection on the school premises by the proprietor and the head teacher;
- Ensure all records relating to individual complaints are kept confidential – unless a requested by an inspecting body, under section 162A of the 2002 Act
- Show how the findings and recommendations of the panel have been responded to
- Seek to complete this stage of the procedure within 13 working days.
Parents of EYFS children can, if they wish, complain to Ofsted or if they believe the school is not meeting EYFS requirements – contact details are found below in Appendix 2
Number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the year 2014/15
Schools are required to publish the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the preceding year.
The number of complaints registered at this stage in 2015/16 was zero.
By email: email@example.com
The following helplines are open from 8.00am to 6.45pm, Monday to Friday: General Helpline 0300 123 1231OfstedPiccadilly GateStore StreetManchesterM1 2WD
Child care, child protection and Safeguarding the children in our care is paramount. This protection and pastoral care takes many forms. Further details of our commitment to protection in all its forms can be found in our consolidated policy document, Safeguarding Children.
The School does not discriminate on any grounds. Our policies and procedures, aims, objectives, hopes and aspirations for each child are applied equally to all; irrespective of ethnicity, culture, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disabilities. We do however concede that the limitations of our old building restrict our ability to fully apply the last principle where, without full mobility, movement around the building may be difficult but we will make every reasonable adjustment to accommodate all pupils.