Al Madinah school ofsted report

(94 Posts)
hillian Thu 17-Oct-13 08:45:39

Has anyone seen this report? It says they don't even know who is disabled or which children aren't in school on a particular day!
www.theguardian.com/education/interactive/2013/oct/16/oftsed-report-on-al-madinah-school-derby

hillian Sat 19-Oct-13 11:57:53

The Ofsted report says that the school didn't live up to its own hype (paraphrasing). I suspect that the parents were less unwilling to admit to making a mistake and more duped into believing that the school was a lot better than it is.

Also, its a muslim school i.e. something which a reasonable guess would say that the parents want. It would be hard to break ranks with your community and expose the problems. In their situation, i wouldn't want to stand up first either.

rabbitstew Sat 19-Oct-13 11:18:59

Our LA has a publicly stated policy of aiming for all LA schools ultimately to become academies and has consequently made most of its staff redundant, or pushed them out to become private consultants (along with a lot of new "consultants" who have very little experience in school improvement, but who offer themselves up, nonetheless...). Even if you are a LA school these days, you don't get the support unless you are failing - in which case they support you all the way to forced academy status... So, there are lots of LA "good" and "outstanding" schools that, for all the LA knows, could be quietly falling apart, with no Ofsted visits planned for several years (because they are "good" or "outstanding"...). It's a scandalous, cynical mess.

BoffinMum Sat 19-Oct-13 10:53:28

I think in relation to parents trying to hang on to schools that are clearly rubbish, they have a vested interest in defending their own choices so they don't lose face. There's also usually a degree of groupthink.

BoffinMum Sat 19-Oct-13 10:50:52

True. If people had to personally underwrite the costs of Free Schools I think there would be fewer cranky ones. At the moment there is every opportunity to amortise the risk but keep any profits for yourself (directly or indirectly).

Same for academy chains. All that lovely money for business people and their self-congratulatory foundations, but the taxpayer gets little transparency and ultimately carries the can if it all goes wrong.

Like the banks.

merrymouse Sat 19-Oct-13 10:42:37

Boffin, a private school failing because it can't get enough pupils and therefore can't get an income is different to a school with an income from the state failing to meet basic standards.

There is nothing to stop me setting up a private school tomorrow which is absolutely rubbish with no pupils, and the only thing that would suffer would be my bank balance. There should be something to stop me setting up a rubbish free school.

BoffinMum Fri 18-Oct-13 18:30:35

It is technically possibly to set up a new school under the auspices of the LA, but these tend to be ones that have been planned historically. For example, in the South Cambridgeshire fringe area we have just opened a new primary school and another one is in the pipeline, linked in to a very large housing development. But as I say, these were already planned, and closely linked to existing Local Authority schools.

I think nobody will be surprised that a Free School has failed - it would be odd if one of them hadn't, as independent schools fail all the time in what can be an aggressive market. But one thing is crystal clear from all this, and that is that Local Authorities need to retain at least enough residual power and financial clout to be able to help any children left without places when another school closes, or if there is a school fire, for example. (Many free schools seem to be on sites where there wouldn't be sufficient room for portacabins as replacement temporary classrooms, in such a circumstance). At the moment we are in a position where local authorities have a legal responsibility to find or make school places for all the children in the local area, and little means with which that can be properly planned or achieved. This is where the policy has failed most badly.

Another confusion in policy terms is defining what type of person can act as a teacher if they have no teaching qualifications. The independent sector is often cited here as an example of how people without teaching qualifications can be perfectly good teachers. I think this is a poor example. In the independent sector, the intake is a lot more homogeneous, and classes smaller, which makes it easier to teach than a diverse class with greater numbers of pupils. There is also what we call adverse selection, in that many kids with serious SEN, or kids who are difficult to teach, are frequently screened out during the admissions process by dissuading the parents from applying, applying an entrance test, or by the fees/uniforms/extras bills being too expensive, once again making the classroom teacher's job easier. Finally the independent sector does actually provide its own teacher training for new entrants, and lots of professional development, via the Independent Schools Council (I believe) plus there is usually a critical mass of experienced teachers with PGCEs or BEds to provide direction and focus, or mentoring. So people are not going into it completely blind. They have often volunteered in a school for a year or two, or worked as an assistant, before actually teaching. So whilst they may not have qualified teacher status, they aren't exactly ingenues, unlike those people who seem to have been employed in Derby.

Ultimately we need to be a lot clearer about what constitutes basic standards, and get Ofsted in a lot quicker and more frequently to inspect new schools of all types, when the danger is at its greatest.

However I am left with a distrust of Free Schools and chain Academies in their current form, due to a lack of clarity about my children's rights in various situations, and consequently I am putting my own children into Local Authority schools, or standalone academies, as I feel the product on offer is more reliable.

LittleSiouxieSue Fri 18-Oct-13 17:59:10

It is interesting to find that where schools are inadequate parents will still rate the school as good and think their children are learning effectively. Sadly they have little or no benchmarks for their opinions and their comments should be taken with a great deal of scepticism, unfortunately. If you choose a school because of a particular ethos, and the other schools do not match this, you tend to stay through thick and thin because you do not look objectively for all the indicators of a good school. Incidentally Ofsted do not have 'poor' and 'inadequate' judgements so this cannot be the situation facing parents in Derby. A school in The category of 'requires improvement' would be better so long as the leadership and governance was in place to effect the required improvement. Definitely better than going to a school now facing closure. The vast majority of all schools, state or independent, employ qualified teachers. A very small minority of people teaching are unqualified. Some of these people will be brilliant but in free schools there appears to be a belief that inexperienced or unqualified teachers can be employed en masse but this is not the model followed by any other type of school. When you have ineffective governance, turbulent leadership and inexperienced staff it is likely there will be problems. Ofsted reports are discussed with schools before release to parents and the public so there are plenty of opportunities for leaks along the way. I think Ofsted has stood up for the children here and this is to be applauded. It would have been better value for money to improve the existing schools but that would not be Gove's policy so over 400 children suffer. What a mess!

straggle Fri 18-Oct-13 17:04:51

Maybe you were reading the Telegraph article which cautions that this is only one school and that among other state schools 'a quarter are underperforming'. But there were some good comments below which point out:

- there are two schools in special measures out of about 25 inspected
- they are no better than existing state schools although this is a statistically small sample seeing as less than a quarter have been inspected
- the catastrophic failure at this school is indicative of the risks of a system where there is no safety net, no LA to guide them, not even an academy chain, and of having unqualified teachers on top of this
- there is now no other way of setting up a new school which compounds that risk across the system - though Michael Wilshaw wants LAs to be accountable for standards

I'd add another point: how many private schools have been shut down because they are inadequate? How many are 'less than good' (e.g. 'satisfactory') whether judged by ISC or Ofsted? Because I can't find those figures easily. Yet I know there is concern in the private sector too about underperforming schools. In the state sector, however, blithely allowing the market to decide whether they stay open or not is bad value for money and creates a lot of harm for which our democratically elected representatives are directly accountable (but they are hiding, or abroad).

Hulababy Fri 18-Oct-13 16:56:07

The actual numbers came from the OFSTED pages, not my own calculations.

The %ages are number of schools, not number of pupils.

tasteslikechicken Fri 18-Oct-13 13:29:30

Sorry my figure re 25% was taken from the radio interview, happy to be corrected and sorry for misinformation.

Nonetheless my point remains valid I think. A total of 540 schools across both Primary and Secondary schools are rated as inadequate.I'm not interested if they are not rated inadequate across every area or not, the point is they have all failed in key areas that automatically attract an inadequate rating.

I don't know how these figures translate to pupil numbers, but I'm guessing a goof few thousand.

So why are there not front line headlines regarding 540 schools currently rated inadequate, but we see huge interest in this single one.

By definition they have been singled out, Ofsted has leaked the report-(what does that say about their leadership and management culture),
tbh I think there is something troubling about this and whilst the school has been "caught bang to rights" there is still the question of why this school has been singled out, whilst another 540 have not.

I know where my suspicions are going.

Finally, clearly I have shown myself to be not very good at statistics, but surely 5% of 3,106 is approx. 155, not 140. And 2% 0f 16,431 is approx. 328, not 400. Do the percentage figures quoted by Hulababy refer to the percentage of children affected by these ratings, that would then take account of different school sizes.

merrymouse Fri 18-Oct-13 10:02:31

in derby

merrymouse Fri 18-Oct-13 10:01:56

The thing is, even assuming there are inadequate schools I derby, wouldn't you want to be spending millions on making sure you had adequate schools, not just open another inadequate school?

straggle Fri 18-Oct-13 07:31:02

Check dataview.ofsted.gov.uk/. 6% of primary schools were rated inadequate in Derby. But no secondary schools. Those with children still at the school may prefer it for reasons other than academic results or Ofsted ratings or they are unaware of what goes on in a school. There are many private schools in which Ofsted finds failings too but parents have even been prepared to pay for them despite serious health and safety issues. After urgent inspections many of these close too.

With respect to parents opinions on the school, three parents were interviewed on R4 today. Two stated that they were happy with the education their children were getting. The third seemed less complacent, but stated that all the other local schools were either rated Poor or Inadequate - implying that choosing one inadequate school over another is Hobson's Choice.

I don't know about the quality of other schools in the area - but it did seem as though at least one articulate sounding parent felt that there simply wasn't a better quality of education available to aspire to.

caroldecker Fri 18-Oct-13 01:12:31

agreed incapable staff should go, but that means qualified or not - who on this thread agrees we should sack all teachers (qualified or not) rated as inadequate?

LittleSiouxieSue Thu 17-Oct-13 23:00:37

The BBC said it was about 3% of state schools which are currently judged inadequate. I think this sounds realistic. It is interesting that at the time of inspection this school had over 400 pupils. It appears that some people will choose a religious education and ethos above all other aspects of education. Someone asked why the parents did not notice there was something wrong, but the parents are not in a position to judge how well lessons are taught and, they have left other schools to join this one. They have positively chosen this school, very big warts and all, and are in the main staying with their choice although some have left. Incidentally, it is open to all faiths or none, or it would not have been funded, but who on earth would send their child to this school if they were not Muslim? It will be interesting to see where the children go if it is closed down. It will be extraordinarily difficult for the children. It is about time free schools had to have qualified staff, the same as everyone else. The unqualified head in Pimlico had to go and so should anyone else who is incapable or not qualified.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 22:41:17

>Where on earth are you getting the stats for re 25% f state schools are inadequate???

I suspect she was lumping in the 'satisfactory/requires improvement'. hmm

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 22:34:35

Well, seeing as Michael Gove is abroad today and ducking questions, David Cameron has stepped in to say the school might be closed sooner rather than later.

www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/17/al-madinah-free-school-faces-closure-government

Hulababy Thu 17-Oct-13 22:31:49

Infact f you break that down further, of all the different types of providers - the group with the worst number of "inadequate" ratings is sponsor-led Academies (ie the ones forced into it) - figure is 9%, so still no where near 25%.

Hulababy Thu 17-Oct-13 22:29:43

Where on earth are you getting the stats for re 25% f state schools are inadequate???

Looking at OFSTED's ow figres:

Primary
Outstanding - 18%
Good - 60%
Satisfactory/Requires Improvement - 19%
Inadequate - 2% (that is 400 schools out of 16,431)

Secondary
Outstanding - 24%
Good - 48%
Satisfactory/Requires Improvement - 24%
Inadequate - 5% (that is 140 schools out of 3,106)

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 22:21:00

Bgsh but they have to enter primary children for SATs. Which the Maharishi Free School forgot to do last year.

And they all do GCSEs and publish full information in the league tables.

tribpot Thu 17-Oct-13 22:19:15

Surely this is not a school that is failing. It has failed.

I notice that the students are segregated by sex at lunchtime because of a lack of space. Because age, of course, would have been a ludicrous way to segregate the children.

Bgsh Thu 17-Oct-13 22:17:01

Free schools do not have to follow the national curriculum, neither do academies, all part of Gove's wish to be able to label state schools as a discrete group.

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 22:15:04

'do people not realise that near on 25% of state schools are currently rated as inadequate'

No, because they aren't. 3% of all schools are judged inadequate (see dataview). 9% of sponsored academies, the government's great panacea for improvement, are inadequate.

Meanwhile if the 19% judged 'satisfactory' (now 'needs to improve') were independent schools they would be called 'sound' (see Local Schools Network post).

Tasteslikechicken - I'm not sure where you are getting 25% being inadequate from, but I doubt that many of those schools are inadequate across all categories.

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