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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
'Worst' school now super academy
The Marlowe Academy
The Ramsgate School has been turned into a new city academy
A secondary school that was branded the worst in England two years ago reopens on Tuesday as Kent's first academy.

The 30m Marlowe Academy replaces the Ramsgate School and is being run on the same site by a private trust rather than Kent County Council.

The academy, which includes a new sixth form, operates from 0830 to 1700 GMT allowing pupils to have supervised study time rather than homework.

A new building is under construction and will be ready by next summer.

Principal, Ian Johnson, said he was "very excited if slightly nervous" ahead of the first day.

I was a head in Oxford for six years and my school there was transformed
Ian Johnson, Principal

"I am confident we are going to do well here. I was a head in Oxford for six years and my school there was transformed," he said.

"I'm doing it again in a more high profile way but I'm looking forward to the challenge."

The Marlowe Academy differs from schools run by local authorities because it sets its own rules and operates under its own guidelines.

Instead of following the national curriculum, pupils will get the chance to take vocational courses and study for GCSEs and A-Levels at the same time.

Mr Johnson said offering vocational courses "enables young people to think about life beyond school".

Special measures

As well as the 400 students from the old Ramsgate School, about 70 other pupils will attend the academy, along with the new year intake and sixth form students.

Eventually that number is expected to rise to 1,100.

The Ramsgate School was put into special measures after its failed Ofsted inspection in 2003.

It was finally taken out earlier this year before being taken over by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.

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