Grammar school in special measures

(59 Posts)
muminlondon Wed 11-Sep-13 07:22:05

The new Ofsted regime is tough indeed. Will the school need a sponsor if it is a converter academy?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-24029830

creamteas Wed 11-Sep-13 08:36:12

There are good schools and bad schools of every type.

There is a school near me that had a reputation for outstanding results and some people did all sorts of things to get their kids in. It later went into special measures.

When people looked past the headline results, it became clear that they came from extensive tutoring.....

exoticfruits Wed 11-Sep-13 08:49:46

People assume that 'grammar school = good school.' They have less excuse for failing, as they cherry pick their pupils, but they are not exempt. Any type of education- comprehensive, grammar, private, even HE has the whole range from wonderful to dire.
I would think that Kent has a huge problem caused by tutoring,and there are children there who are not suited. There is also the fact that if you have the best academic students in the area you should be really stretching them and not just tootling along.

tiggytape Wed 11-Sep-13 09:17:32

The new Ofsted regime is tough but it is more accurate in many ways. Under the old regime a coasting school could get a good inspection grade. As long as results were great, less notice was taken of how that was achieved so grammar schools and schools with 'easy' intakes tended to do well.

Now Ofsted looks at things like teaching across all subjects - a school can nolonger be outstanding if teaching is below that standard whereas previously it could. Progress and not just results are also examined so it isn't enough for a grammar school to take 150 very clever children and get them decent GCSE results, the children have to progress well from the point they started at. As exocticfruits said, it is weeding out the schools who got away with tootling along.

LaVolcan Wed 11-Sep-13 09:57:11

What stood out for me was the school's statement:

"It has an academic record that many schools would be proud of, with 95% of pupils achieving five or more A*-C GCSEs including English and Mathematics.

Er, no, I thought - if you are creaming off the top 23% then that should be a 100% record. Now if they were boasting of 95% A* and A, then I the special measures would be something to gripe about.

LaVolcan Wed 11-Sep-13 09:58:23

then I the special... or then I think the

not the jumbled statement I made. (ex grammar school, but from ages ago.)

Bonsoir Wed 11-Sep-13 10:00:39

The issue of highly selective schools not adding much value is a very real one that needs addressing.

Talkinpeace Wed 11-Sep-13 10:53:23

I am really glad that this has finally happened.
Because it will mean that the Kent system gets shaken up and teaching standards rise for ALL kids.
As Bonsoir says, Value added at some of the Grammars is utterly dire - but masked by comparison with the local Secondary Moderns.

ReallyTired Wed 11-Sep-13 11:11:46

OFSTED look at progress and its unfair to compare the grammar results with the local secondary modern. However secondary moderns often have a few outliers who are bright and grammars often have a few throughly thick and over coached kids. OFSTED look at the starting points and the end points of children.

OFSTED also look at safeguarding, which prehaps the grammar was poor at. I haven't seen the report. Certainly behaviour at this school is poor as the children are bored.

exoticfruits Wed 11-Sep-13 11:22:20

Another mistaken belief is that all grammar school pupils are well behaved and there is no bullying.

LaVolcan Wed 11-Sep-13 16:24:19

OFSTED look at progress and its unfair to compare the grammar results with the local secondary modern.

I quite agree, you are not comparing like with like. But my point is that 95% A*- C is not something to boast about given their intake.

Why don't they ask people out if they are not up to standard? It might stop some of the over coaching going on.

soul2000 Wed 11-Sep-13 17:46:17

This is very intresting and pleasing in a way because it shows that Ofsted
have finally realised that Cs for Grammars schools are only equal to Es at Secondary schools with mixed intakes.

The 5 A* to C measure is also biased to Grammar schools, and high performing Comprehensives that are located in areas of advantage.

Perhaps Grammar Schools should be rated on % A* to B in Gcse rather than A*to C. Maybe compared at A level with a rating similar to the
AAB as that being what is generally required for admission to Russell Group Universities.

About 5 years ago i remember Stretford Grammar School becoming the first Grammar School in special measures, and Boston High School a Girls Grammar was also slated in a inspection report both Schools have now turned their Schools round. They have had recent good or excellent inspection reports. Chatham Grammar have a greater chance of turning the School round than say a non selective school in a deprived area.
A intresting thing is that both Chatham Grammar/Stretford Grammar are located in areas of social disadavantage which is an anomaly. Most Grammar Schools are located in areas of realtive advantage.
I wonder is there anything in that regarding the inspection report.

soul2000 Wed 11-Sep-13 18:44:08

Most grammar schools are located in areas of relative advantage.

Talkinpeace Wed 11-Sep-13 20:41:03

Soul2000
Sorry but that is not true : two of the fully Grammar counties - Kent and Lincolnshire - have some grindingly poor areas.
THis particular school is at the arse end of the Medway towns and they are the armpit of the South East

soul2000 Wed 11-Sep-13 21:24:29

Talkinpeace. Are the grammar schools located in the poor areas of the counties with the exception of the Medway towns.

Intrestingly i have just been on the Dept of Education performance tables website and it seems that Stretford Grammar school currently has
10% students on fsm, and over the last 6 years 21% of pupils have at one time been eligible. The figures for Chatham Boys Grammar are 5.2/10.2%, i think both these figures are relatively high for grammar schools. Bearing in mind grammar schools tend to have a quarter fsm of the surronding schools. This shows that these two schools are located in areas of relative disadvantage.

Talkinpeace Wed 11-Sep-13 21:36:04

Soul2000
Kent, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire are fully grammar counties.
Every single pupil is invited to take the 11+ and there is a Grammar and a Secondary Modern covering every area.
Lincolnshire still retains the full tripartite system of Grammar, Secondary Modern and Technical schools in some areas.

These schools bear NO RELATION to superselectives

ReallyTired Wed 11-Sep-13 22:22:41

"THis particular school is at the arse end of the Medway towns and they are the armpit of the South East"

The top 25% of children from a rough area are not stupid. High achievers in my area get good GCSE results as well.

Some of the secondary moderns have very high value added scores. Only 86% of Chatham grammar kids got 5 GCSEs including maths and english which is frankly piss poor.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/education/school_tables/secondary/12/html/va_886.stm?compare=

There are hardly any disadvantage pupils

www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=136382

If you look at the break down of results for middle and high attainer the results are worse than our local comp.

HmmAnOxfordComma Wed 11-Sep-13 22:24:50

I work in a grammar and at our second to last Ofsted inspection, the Lead Inspector walked in and said 'Well, you won't be getting Outstanding; grammar schools do not deserve Outstanding in my book because of your intake. I NEVER give Outstanding to selective schools'. Talk about bias and prejudice! We got outstanding the next time around...

So it can work both ways depending on the Inspector's own politics.

That's not to say many of the other points made on the thread are not very valid.

muminlondon Wed 11-Sep-13 23:12:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soul2000 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:16:08

Really Tired. The figures of 86% are Chatham house Grammar in Ramsgate. Chatham Boys Grammar is in Chatham, confusing i know.
The figures show Chatham Boys achieved 100% A* to C in 2012 and 7% AAB at A level so they might have been picked on for some reason.

muminlondon Wed 11-Sep-13 23:50:31

But Level 5 SATs intake - which is supposedly minimum 11plus standard - is predicted at least grade B GCSE. So 5 A-C GCSE pass rate is meaningless for selective schools. Looking at the DfE website, a significant proportion failed to pass languages and humanities GCSEs in 2012. Of course it should be pulled up if it is coasting to that extent.

Bonsoir Thu 12-Sep-13 08:20:40

Talkinpeace - there are superselectives in West Kent.

ReallyTired Thu 12-Sep-13 12:30:27

The govenment has replaced the "satisfactory" judgement with "requires improvement". If the school fails to improve then it is automatically deemed inadequate.

www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/136594

The OFSTED is spectaluarly damning and the head is not accepting the findings.

www.kentonline.co.uk/medway_messenger/news/Chatham-grammar-head-disputes-critical-3335/

soul2000 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:59:39

ReallyTired. Reading some of the comments from the Kent on line article,
it appears that Chatham boys grammar may have a slighty different demographic of pupils than you typical grammar school. The intresting thing about that, is i remember stretford grammar in its failing report
seemed to have similar problems to Chatham boys. They both have slighty lower entrance requirements for the 6th form than the other surronding grammar schools.

It does see to me that Chatham boys grammar has been used as a
convenient target like stretford grammar was five or so years ago.
I am not saying the school is brilliant or does not need improvment but
i think to state it as failing is inappropriate and not warranted.

NoComet Thu 12-Sep-13 18:34:31

I'm getting very cynical where ofsted are concerned. I think they are looking for Grammars and academies to fail so they look like they are tough on all types of school. If they can add a free school to their scalps they will jump for joy.

That way they look tough to Mr. Gove and non political (ie not Tory lap dogs) to a Labour government.

Ofsted care only for their jobs (and their friends jobs in the ridiculously expensive consulting and executive heads circus that descends on failing schools).

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