The Hundred of Hoo Academy

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The Hundred of Hoo Academy
Established 1956
Type Academy
Executive Headteacher Gary Holden
Location Main Road
Coordinates: 51°25′18″N 0°33′01″E / 51.42172°N 0.55018°E / 51.42172; 0.55018
Local authority Medway
DfE URN 118799 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1757
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18

The Hundred of Hoo Academy (formerly The Hundred of Hoo School) is a secondary school with academy status located in the Hoo Peninsula, in the village of Hoo in Kent, England.

The school provides standard secondary education as well as offering advanced media facilities.[citation needed] The complex also includes a nursery, a conference centre and sports centre. The school holds specialist Arts College status. It has over 1,600 students.

History of the school[edit]

Opened in 1956-57, the school is named after the Saxon Hundreds and the parish of Hoo St Werburgh, in which the village is located. The secondary school has over 1,700 boys and girls aged 11–19. The village of Hoo St Werburgh is one of six in the Hoo Peninsula, which incorporates the Isle of Grain and is situated between the river Thames and river Medway. It is also close to Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham (the Medway Towns), which have a combined population of over 250,000; this is due to increase as part of the Thames Gateway project.

Medway Council is a Unitary Authority with 17 secondary schools. The school draws its students mainly from the Hoo Peninsula, which is part rural and part semi-rural, and the Medway Towns, particularly Strood. Medway Council operates, in the main, a selective system with 23% of pupils attending grammar schools. Creamed comprehensive education is only available in the rural ares and in the faith sectors. Despite this, it is claimed that intake of Hundred of Hoo is broadly comprehensive.

In 1992 the Hundred of Hoo School and Hoo Middle School, part of a three tier education structure on adjacent sites, merged as one into the existing buildings. Since then there has been much additional building work, providing the school with good specialist facilities and social areas for each year group, including a large Sixth Form common room. An examination hall/exhibition/meeting venue, called the Morris Poole Examination Suite is able to accommodate up to 350 examinees or an audience of 600+.[citation needed] Each learning area has an ICT Suite.

A Media Centre, built from the Specialist Schools funding for Media Arts (Special people's School Status achieved September 2004), was completed during 2005-2006. The school has also used the Lottery Funding to provide artificial pitches opened in January 2007.[citation needed]

The present[edit]

Over a significant period, the school's external examination results have been below national norms and in 2009 only 25% of the school's Year 11 cohort had left with five GCSEs which also included English and Maths.[1] These results were lower than the statutory target of 30%[2] and as a result of its inability to achieve this standard the school was identified as being in danger of closure and in need of a government intervention it was therefore designated as a "National Challenge School".[3] The school was inspected in April 2009 and as a result was judged to be "Inadequate" and in need of "Special Measures". The inspector report stating that the school's standards were "exceptionally low".[4] The Governing Body was stepped down and in its place an Interim Executive Board led by Dr Peter Clough of the DCSF was appointed to oversee the transition to Trust status.[5]

In June 2009, in anticipation of an application to then named Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) for Trust status the school become partnered with the Sir Joseph Williamson Mathematical School in Rochester, a grammar school rated as "outstanding" by Ofsted. The substantive head of the Math School, Dr Gary Holden, became The Hundred of Hoo's Executive Principal and in October 2009 following a period of time as Acting Headteacher, Kevin Mahon was appointed substantive Head of School. By June 2010 the school had been confirmed as a National Challenge Trust School and a new Governing Body was in the process of being formed.[citation needed]

The school was to have four monitoring visits by a team of HMIs. By the first, the lead inspector declared the school to have made "satisfactory progress".[6] In October 2010 at the conclusion of the fourth Monitoring Visit by HMI, the inspecting team led by Robert Ellis declared themselves satisfied that the school no longer required Special Measures.[citation needed]b

The school's leadership team has been significantly changed with new external appointments being added to a few longer serving members of staff. Under the leadership of Dr Gary Holden and Kevin Mahon the school will be re-organised into four Learning Communities similar to the traditional 'House' system in many schools. The Senior Leadership Team comprises four Heads of Community, two of whom were existing members of staff. Mrs Gaynor Black (Teaching and Learning) and Mr Gary Vyse (Pupil Progress) lead two communities. Two new appointments - Ms Cheryl Hall (Curriculum) and Matthew Tate (Pastoral) complete the tier. They each are helped in their role by an Assistant Head of Community - Mrs Lesley Nixon, Ms Emma Elwin, Mrs Jo Whittmann and Mr Gary Squires respectively. These Assistant Heads also line-manage the subjects through a Faculty system.[citation needed]

The total SLT also includes Mrs Lorraine Mottram (Human Resources), Mrs Jackie Baker (Inclusion), Mr John Keeley (Community and Specialism), and Mrs Julie Freeman (Business Manager). Lately, membership of the SLT has been enhanced by imaginative appointments using the talent within and outside of the school. Mr Alex Bolton who, in 2010 was nominated "Teacher of the Year" in Kent and Medway, and Ms Michelle Marshall were appointed after interview to be Associates. The work of the team was further developed by the appointment of Mr Stephen Lea as Consultant Leader. Mr Lea combines his role at Hoo with that of ICT adviser for Medway schools. The school's staff have been further strengthened by the appointment of Ms Gill Robinson, another adviser with the local authority, as Consultant Leader for Maths and is deployed in a similar arrangement to Mr Lea.[citation needed]

In the public examination results of summer 2010, the school experienced some improvement. The National Challenge baseline threshold of 30% was exceeded when 33% of the cohort left with 5 GCSEs including English and Maths at grade A*-C and 100% of the year group left with at least one GCSE.[1] This in an improvement on 2009 where 25% achieved this but is well below national(53%) and local(54%) averages[1]

In September 2011, The Hundred of Hoo school converted to academy status as part of the Williamson Trust.[citation needed]b

Shows and Productions[edit]

The school puts on productions each year, usually the genre being a musical. The school presents many productions including "Strut: Fashion Show" which donates all profits to charity, "Hoo's Got Talent", a show usually shown at The Central Theatre/The Brook Theatre, Chatham, Kent and their Christmas show.[citation needed]

Staff issues[edit]

In late October 2016 the 32 year old 'headteacher', Gary Vyse, was sentenced at Medway Magistrates court for an incident in Larkfield. He was fined £1,455 and dis-qualified from driving of for 18 months.[7] [8]


  1. ^ a b c "League Tables". Dept of Education. 
  2. ^ Eason, Gary (10 January 2008). "Fifth of schools below 'GCSE Par'". BBC. 
  3. ^ Sinclair, Harriet; Clarke, Toby (21 August 2008). "GCSE results of 'National Challenge' schools in danger of closure". London: Times Newspapers. 
  4. ^ "Ofsted Report 2009". Ofsted. 
  5. ^ "Governance". The Hundred of Hoo School. 
  6. ^ "Monitoring Report" (PDF). Ofsted. 
  7. ^ McConnell, Ed (31 October 2016). "Hundred of Hoo Academy head teacher Gary Vyse banned from driving after drink-driving conviction". Kent Online. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Crouch, Hannah (1 November 2016). "Notoriously strict headteacher who banned make up and fake tan from class caught at wheel TWICE over drink limit". The Sun. Retrieved 12 April 2017.