To think OFSTED reports aren't worth the paper they're written on?

(17 Posts)
Eliza22 Wed 13-Jul-16 13:22:01

Despite some historical bullying issues and a sexual assault on a pupil, which were verbally reported and discussed with the OFSTED inspector on the day of the inspection.....the report states that this school is "a beacon of light for pupils with autism and learning difficulties" and has shown "unsurpassed safeguarding standards".

I give up. I was the parent who reported it. Their report did mention, in just one sentence, that "a parent spoke with the inspector, on the day". Is it all just about sweeping the crap under the carpet so that they can say "everything's fantastic at this excellent school!"

Clutteredmess Wed 13-Jul-16 13:34:42

YANBU

I also told an Ofsted inspector about an ongoing complaint about a staff member that had been covered up by the HT and was in the process of being investigated (staff member subsequently sacked and barred from working with children). A parent also wrote to the inspector outlining the allegation - her child was involved. Bizarrely the Leadership and Management of the school was judged to be Good and no concerns were given regarding safeguarding procedures.

Eliza22 Wed 13-Jul-16 13:39:29

I'm not sure I have the mental energy to set a complaint in motion. My child has now been forced to leave the school (as have others). I know I should.

Just5minswithDacre Wed 13-Jul-16 13:41:18

You're SO right (generally).

The school isn't one of a chain is it?

samG76 Wed 13-Jul-16 13:41:40

YANBU - there's an excellent school that I'm hoping my DS's will go to. It's just received a terrible OFSTED report, but as all the prospective parents know that it's drivel and based on whatever fad is the flavour of the day, demand is still very high.

Clutteredmess Wed 13-Jul-16 13:43:39

Eliza FWIW I regret not following it through. The HT retired very shortly afterwards with a large pension and no comeback for covering up serious safeguarding issues.

Eliza22 Wed 13-Jul-16 16:19:51

Clutter I think that's what annoys me most. We're in the process of complaining to the Governors. I copied in Ofsted. No reply. I want the HD to have a note of complaint on his record...not out of vindictiveness but because he handled the issues so badly and his school still came out as Outstanding.

My son is the fourth child (that I know of) who has left due to bullying and physical assault so clearly, something's wrong.

acasualobserver Wed 13-Jul-16 16:31:10

Despite what most of MN believes, Ofsted is not a complaints hotline/schools ombudsman for disgruntled parents. That said, I agree that its judgements are often so faulty as to be meaningless.

MrsFrankieHeck Wed 13-Jul-16 16:33:41

I've worked in several schools during OFSTED inspections and can honestly say they are definitely bollocks. I could tell you some shocking things.

If they walk in unannounced it might be more honest.

Clutteredmess Wed 13-Jul-16 17:35:46

Despite what most of MN believes, Ofsted is not a complaints hotline/schools ombudsman for disgruntled parents

No but there are responsible for checking that safeguarding procedures are in place and if a child protection allegation has been made and the correct procedures have not been followed then that should be reflected in their judgement.

228agreenend Wed 13-Jul-16 17:44:03

Ofsted are in school for so little time so it's difficult to really understand the dynamics of the school.

unless you know the nature of the individual ability, the characters of the children etc, how can you judge fully? It may appear that Little Johnny is not doing his work, but it may be an achievement for him just to be there.

Ofsted may be good at giving a generalised feel of the school, ie, general behaviour, whether the children are engaged in lessons etc, but that's about it.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Wed 13-Jul-16 17:53:38

Ofsted look at the school's SEF and form hypotheses based on that. They visit the school to confirm the judgement they have already made, or to see if there is anything that overturns that judgement and makes a difference to it.

If there was a safeguarding issue, which sounds like what the OP was saying, then I'm sure they would be interested, but would look at all the factors, which maybe the OP doesn't know about. In general though, Ofsted isn't the go to organisation for disgruntled people. I'm not suggesting that this is the case for the OP, but I do think that there are people whose first response is to suggest going to complain to Ofsted.

I wouldn't personally take much notice of any Ofsted report, but probably for very different reasons.

Eebahgum Wed 13-Jul-16 17:56:24

Ofsted grading has nothing to do with whether parents would judge s school to be a good school and they often make their decision before they even walk through the door. It goes the other way too - and I'd never be put off sending my child to a school that ofsted decided wasn't good enough as long as I was happy with it.

Eliza22 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:08:06

Reminds me of the CQC. Informing of their intention to visit so, all hands on deck to present the best possible "show". All I know is, the assaults on my son were ongoing despite my many times alerting the school to the fact that something was going on. Then, when it was exposed and it was taken out of school hands by social services and police, the school continued to allow contact between my son and his abuser, telling me that there was none. Because my son has autism, it was difficult to get a full and clear picture from him so, I was at the mercy of school's crap safeguarding.

For OFSTED to then congratulate the school on its safeguarding was something of a shock.

Lymmmummy Wed 13-Jul-16 19:13:43

Totally agree - send my DS to supposedly outstanding school

Has been poor standard and various very simple incidents extremely badly managed - HT excellent many of EYFS staff poor

I am now if the opinion getting the outstanding badge of honour is closely linked to the schools ability to play the ofsted game. I do also think DS school is overly focused on maintaining the outstanding status and the welfare and well being of kids seem to come second. Would sooner have a poor ofsted with higher level of care for kids

elodie2000 Wed 13-Jul-16 20:39:25

You are right. They are all cut and paste and their comment banks are badly written at that. The overall judgement is made beforehand based on data IMHO. Also, who ARE the inspectors? When did they last teach? I'm not a fan of OFSTED.

BTW, The first 3/4 rounds of OFSTED -YEARS ago were v. different... An army of subject specialists would descend on the school. They would watch, read docs, judge and feedback to each subject area after spending at least 3 days in the department. Others would be assigned to pastoral and management scrutiny. The judgement back then was informed at least.

Eliza22 Thu 14-Jul-16 08:12:27

I think it's so the Govt. can quote (as in Mr Cameron's final PMQ's yesterday) how many Outstanding schools we now have, under their Govt.

I wrote to my MP about this. I had a reply in which concern and sympathy were expressed but I'm sure nothing will change, at that school. My child started his 'new' school yesterday. Fingers crossed.

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