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Crawley school continues ‘drive for improvement’ following Ofsted monitoring



“A drive for improvement has continued, despite the current challenges” and “Quick actions have been taken” according to a 2021 Ofsted virtual monitoring visit to Thomas Bennett Community College.

Thomas Bennett Community College has risen to the challenges of all of the changes over the past year. 

Mr Smith, the Headteacher, has said

“I am so proud of all our staff, students, parents and carers who have continued to work together to ensure the best for our young people during the pandemic. I am extremely grateful for and proud of our whole community”.

The education of the students has continued without missing a beat. Teaching staff have continued teaching the curriculum online through Google Classroom, finding new and interesting ways to adapt and engage. 

Despite the distance between staff and students, Thomas Bennett has continued to grow its literacy programme through the use of digital and audio books as well beginning small group interventions, all through remote learning. Celebrations for World Book Day have taken place virtually. 

Ofsted also stated that “pupils can access remotely their full range of subjects” and that there are still “high expectations” for all students at Thomas Bennett. 

Thomas Bennett has continued to support the community that it serves, with every student and parent being contacted regularly for a check on well being. This communication has been “invaluable for the mental health of all affected by the current restrictions” according to Mr Smith; “human contact is so important in these challenging times.”

Stuart Smith 


‘Please come forward with information no matter how small’ Police appeal as E-Fit of attempted rape suspect released



Police have released an E-fit image of a man sought in connection with the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl in Crawley.

Between 7pm and 7.15pm on Tuesday (March 9), the teenager was walking her dog along the pathway from Overdene Drive towards the tunnel that runs underneath the A23 and follows on to Quantock Close.

She turned around before the end of the tunnel and walked back along the path to Overdene Drive. As she did so, she crossed paths with a man who grabbed her and attempted to rape her.

The victim was able to break free and shout for help, causing the man to flee the scene in the direction of the tunnel. The victim is being supported by specialist officers. 

The man was described as white, in his late teens to late 30s, 5’ 9” to 5’ 10”, with dark eyes, short dark coloured hair and short dark stubble. He spoke with an eastern European accent and was wearing dark clothing.

Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Allana Hughes said:

“We are appealing for anyone who recognises this man, or anyone who witnessed the sexual assault or any suspicious behaviour at this location around the time of the incident, to make contact with us.

“We would particularly like to hear from people who were in Quantock Close, The Dingle or surrounding roads around this time or anyone who may have dashcam, ring doorbell or CCTV footage which might have captured the suspect fleeing the scene.

“We have increased our patrols in the area and have been conducting house-to-house enquiries alongside investigating any potential lines of enquiry.

“Please come forward to us with any information which you think could help our investigation, no matter how small.”

Information can be passed to Sussex Police online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Stockbridge.

Alternatively, people can get in touch anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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