Bringing in experienced teacher for Ofsted inspection day??(75 Posts)
Does this sound ok to you? My dd's primary is having their Ofsted inspection tomorrow and I've been told that her regular class teacher won't be teaching them. Instead they're bringing in an experienced teacher from another school in their group of schools, just for the day. Technically, I guess he works for the same company but he isn't a teacher from that school (in fact he's a head atbthe other school). It doesn't sound right to me, in fact it sounds deceptive and I don't like it (one of many things I don't like about this school lately).
That's awful - surely they will be found out?
I don't know. Does an ofsted inspection check something like that? Do they always ask for evidence of the class teacher being employed? You'd think it would need checking as it would be too easy to employ a very good supply for the day. Does anyone know?
The older children know this head teacher. I think he used to work there before being moved to one of the other schools.
It just seems so sneaky. Obviously I don't want to jeopardise my dd's school's ofsted but would I be wrong to question it??
Pity the kids know him. Otherwise I'd be hoping that they behave like evil little sods, simply because they've got a stranger in front of their class. Would serve SMT right.
Wow. Is there a parents' meeting?
I think I would raise concerns that the school clearly feel that DDs regular teacher is not up to the job.
Yes, sowornout The SMT (senior management team?) are not popular, sitting in their off school site running schools they rarely visit. This situation won't make things any better. Teachers are resigning non stop at thte mo.
Probably, dewdrop. No date sent out yet. Will ask in the morning. Are they usually straight after the visit or after the report?
Also something which had been bugging me, sowornout, although she seems very good to me! Imagine how it must feel to her though - go on, off you trot, spend the day doing something else while we host these important people from ofsted, come back when we're done!
It's crap. Yes, SMT is senior management team, sorry. And have always been well known for pulling stunts like this (although I haven't come across this one before) when Ofsted come in.
A favourite one in my previous school was to suddenly clock up lots of offenses against kids they knew were a pain in the arse and then give them a 3 day suspension starting the day Ofsted arrived! Although it certainly made it easier for some staff to have 5 difficult kids removed from their class, it was a joke, IMO.
DDs teacher may feel this is a slur on her teaching abilities, but in all honesty I don't know any teacher who wouldn't feel a sneaking sense of relief that they weren't being Ofsted observed. You basically know you are on a hiding to nothing nowadays and the stress is immense, particularly if you are not very experienced.
It's a ploy used by some schools unfortunately to help boost their rating . You can bring it to the attention of Ofsted by asking to speak with an inspector. You could put your concerns on the questionnaire but some schools have been known to vet those before handing them to the inspection team .
I've even heard of a disabled child with high absence figures (due to school only letting them attend part time) who was then unlawfully removed from the school roll the evening before an Ofsted visit - shameful!
This is one of the many ploys used by schools to improve their ratings. If I remember correctly, on the questionnaire Ofsted hand out, there is an address you can send it to if you prefer - in this way there is no chance for it to be vetted and removed if your school is likely to do this.
Who told you? Surely if it's public knowledge that there's been a switch, rather than the regular teacher simply being mysteriously ill on the day, then it's going to get back to Ofsted?
I'd drop them in it very carefully.
What I'd do is speak to the Ofsted and let them know that this isn't their usual teacher, and is a supply, which should be pretty obvious to Ofsted anyway. And say that you have a suspicion that they have been brought in for Ofsted, as they don't usually do supply-and lets face it, how many heads do supply for other schools.
I'd have thought it could come back to bite the supply head. If his school gets inspected by the same inspectors and they look at him and say "how come you were teaching at X school?" it's not going to look good for him either.
Those are terrible about the kids being conveniently 'hidden'
I know schools must get very desperate around ofsted time but I am still shocked that this is happening and that other posters have heard of it before. I know it isn't on a par with some stuff (I'm thinking of the financial world recently) but the deception and sneakiness is still not acceptable imo.
I know from a very good 'inside' source (I know staff shouldn't be gossipping but judging by the spiralling morale in that group of schools, I'm not really surprised ), and I saw him there this morning.
I am surprised that they know they are being inspected tomorrow yet. When DCs school was inspected they weren't told until noon of the day before.
Who told you it was an OFSTED inspection?
DeWe, good point about the head...except this head has just resigned after a year in the job (yet another one jumping ship!) to go back to teaching in september! so probably quite happy not to be meeting ofsted as a head ever!!
They got told yesterday, mummytime.
So, do I put it on the questionnaire? What's the worst that could happen to the schhol if ofsted find out about it? Is it worth telling them?
Yes, put it on the questionnaire if you think the school is deliberately trying to cover up failings.
If they have hired in fake staff, then what else have they done?
The guidelines have changed this year, and part of the inspection is that they examine the typical behaviour of any pupils not present at the time of the inspection. So that's that one out of the way.
The teacher issue is awful - make sure they know.
If Ofsted decide they are trying to fake the inspection they can be put into special measures (and I think should be), I have known it happen to schools for far less.
I think it is very unfair if they got 24 hours notice, you should have seen DCs poor teachers frantically tidying up with 12 hours notice (it wasn't that bad, but just not as spotless as when you expect visitors).
Although they have picked up on this kind of thing before. There "could" bean innocent explanation but they'd have to explain that to the inspectors. (Actually I think it would be pretty obvious if a class has an unfamiliar teacher at this point in the school year.)
Oh and the questionnaire is an online one now, via the Ofsted website!
Is it possible that the regular teacher was always going to be out that day (course, medical appointment, family reason etc) and the school have just made sure they have got a good supply in?
Mummy time-where have you got the idea that this school has been given 24 hours? As far as I can see, they were told yesterday that Ofsted would be in today?
" My dd's primary is having their Ofsted inspection tomorrow and I've been told that her regular class teacher won't be teaching them"
That sounds as if they knew yesterday that Ofsted would be in tomorrow. If Ofsted are in today and tomorrow, then the school have no knowledge of which lessons will be inspected each day. So the OP is worried about nothing, as Ofsted could inspect the class with the normal teacher today.
No, I wrote that yesterday in reference to today
Ofsted and experienced teacher are both in today. Hope I'm making snse! Sorry!
Good news about the questionnaire being online, mummytime, far easier that way, and no need to worry about the school seeing it.
Fair point, hels71, and probably what the explanation will be if Ofsted ask? I'm going on how it is being talked about by staff off the record, and that is no surprise given the low morale. Apparently, the head from the other school got the call yesterday and then prepped a special lesson for today.
Well it could be that the teacher was always going to be absence and this teacher had agreed to cover it already. And what they've done is try and get the children engaged/excited by telling them "Mr X is coming in, aren't you lucky... he's got a special lesson for you..."
My dc are often told the day before that they will have a supply and who it will be.
But the fact that he's a head elsewhere looks very suspicious, unless he's coming back to this school to teach next year.
No, he isn't. He's leaving the school, the headship, and the federation. One of the many who have had enough.
It is possible that it was always going to be this arrangement. Maybe there is just too much suspicion in there. Not a great advertisement for a group of academies.
Not sure now whether to mention it.
I'd still mention it. Just put it on the questionnaire online. Ofsted also talk to the kids though, so surely one of them will say something about their normal teacher to an inspector.
This isn't uncommon. In some academies its part of the support system that is in place. Several senior teachers from other academies in the group are moved in especially for Ofsted. Academies which even then only just managed to escape going into special measures. Under the new Ofsted they are classed as 'Requiring improvement'. Taking badly behaved students out of school for 'visits', is another ploy often used.
12 hours is 12 working hours, really 24 hours. Plenty of time to implement pre-arranged Ofsted procedures.
Academy chain companies are well organised for Ofsted.
I'd mention it. If there is a perfectly innocent explanation, they can offer it. If not, Ofsted should know.
Am saying this on behalf of many, many schools like my own children's where very hard-working, honest teachers have sweated blood to jump through Ofsted's hoops without pulling stunts like this.
How do you know it's a "ploy"
FFS? If the normal teacher had a planned absence it makes far more sense to use an experienced colleague than call a supply agency.
I've heard of this sort of thing. Especially the kids on trips or some such just to get them out. Problem is, Ofsted are even more keen than ever to talk to the kids, asking questions like "Is this what you normally do in lessons?" I which case the kids will most probably point out that this was not their normal teacher.
There is no where on the online form to put in your comments. It's a generic form that they use for ALL schools including Special Schools so some questions are irrelevant. I would email the people doing the inspection, (their address will be in the letter you were given by the school) if you are unhappy about this switch of teachers. I wonder if it was a tactical thing because maybe the class teacher cannot cope with an inspection and the school are trying to save face. Sounds very off to me.
Covering staff who are taking selected students out on visits by supply staff is accepted by Ofsted.
The fact that staff taking students out of school on visit are the weak ones to be covered by senior staff from another member of the group acting as supply staff is accepted by Ofsted. After all some chain groups setup their own companies to supply 'cover staff', it's big business. It's very easy with the school computerised management systems (databases)' to make every thing looked planned.
The school I teach in is currently undergoing Ofsted. We got the call at lunchtime yesterday. They arrived at 8am this morning. Really, there's no time to ship any kids out for the sake of keeping up appearances even if we wanted to. It is by no means 24 hours.
Does your school or academy, or academy group run their own mini buses with drivers.
Is there a another school which is a member of the academy group within a reasonable driving distance.
20 hours is nearly 24 hours.
Like I said academy groups have an advantage. Mr Gove is very supportive of academy chains!!!
We also only got the call at noon one day, and then in at 8am the next. No time for major shuffles to go that's for sure. Def no hiding of children either!
OFSTED will be told the name of any staff and their role, especially if they are "seen" by the inspection team. We did have two supply teachers in on the day due to illness. the staff were already off the day before and already knew not in the next days either. But these were supply staff we always use, and already expected to be there. OFSTED needed to be told who they were and their role in school, and who they were covering/why.
Warwick. No we are not an academy group and we don't have minibus drivers. But at our school an offsite trip would take much longer than 20 hours to arrange. And you don't actually have 20 hours. You have three up until the end of the school day when you would need to have notified parents of any trip. But I am talking about ordinary schools. What academy chains may choose to do I wouldn't know.
Not sure how the shipping out would work in many schools, not with such short notice.
There would need to be the paper trail - letters home to parents, reply slips and permission received and recorded, sufficient staffing arranged, risk assessment completed.... Maybe if have own transport vaguely possible, but still not an easy one with only 2-3 hours of the afternoon to sort it in. The trip would also have to be part of the lesson planning too. And the inspectors TALK to the children A LOT and about their thoughts and feelings about school and how it works- you can guarantee a child would grass them up "It's not fair, Mr x has taken ..... on a trip today but not us. Why do they get to go when they are always the naughty ones...." etc.
The online form has nowhere to put comments.
yes ordinary schools would find it difficult to organise hulababy.
But academy chains have cluster groups of academies where students and staff regularly move between as part of the 'Support system' or in the case of students for special coaching or activities. Secondary students are often used in primary schools to support students, primary students often visit secondary schools for activities
What about removal from the roll? Isn't that just a click of a button to delete the child from the register? That must be easy enough for HT's to do if they wanted to or is it not feasible?
Warwick, that's irrelevant. I teach in an academy which is part of a chain. I still can't take students out without seeking parental permission, not even to the primary school (part of the same chain) which is less than 10 minutes' walk away.
I don't think a HT can just remove a child from the roll like that. It would need to come from the LEA. And if a school had a waiting list, the minute a child was removed from the roll, that place can be made available to the child top of the list - even the very same day.
If this is really the case then it is very concerning. If a teacher isn't deemed sufficient to face an inspection (and I mean get a grade other than unsatisfactory) then they shouldn't be teaching your child.
I know the rules eviltwins, I also know the reality. It really doesn't take 3 hours to organise a form and send it home with a child on the same day to get permission from a parent. Most schools and academies know roughly when an inspection is due and they certainly know which students and teachers could prove a problem. Most schools and academies have an Ofsted inspection plan ready for implementation don't they.
I don't find it that surprising that many disruptive students and very weak teachers are out of school/academy when Ofsted appears. That is why Ofsted reduced the advanced notice given in order to hinder the manipulation and 'special Ofsted preparations', that went on previously.In fact Ofsted wanted no advance notice because they realised that schools and academies still had time to manipulate if they were told the day before. Most organisations when inspected only find out when the inspectors walk through the door. Teachers shouldn't be rushing around preparing for Ofsted, all lessons should be well prepared at all times, shouldn't they?
Ofsted prepared at all times? Hmm. I would argue that my lessons are well prepared. But 'Outstanding as per Ofsted' at all times? Nope. They have ridiculous 'data' expectations nowadays. I consider myself a pretty good and capable teacher, but I'm damn sure Ofsted will slag me on something. It would be more sensible if they simply watched a lesson and thought, 'yeah, the kids are behaving and this person clearly knows what they are doing, that's fine'...
Instead, you now have ludicrous situations where you have to demonstrate continual progression, AFL, meeting targets, etc. Some of my bottom sets are nice kids, but very, very weak academically. And yes, they are making progress and trying their best, but this is small increments over a long period of time. It's very difficult to demonstrate that they are all making progress in every lesson - sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they just don't get it that day. It doesn't mean that I'm a teacher who is weak or unsatisfactory.
warwick, you ate certainly right about schools being "OFSTED ready", and actually, I would say mine is. I do have data to hand- that's how my school is run. The only real issues, and, I would say, one of the main reasons for continuing to have notice of an inspection, is that OFSTED are not interested in watching an external exam, so things do sometimes need to be moved around to "show off" the school. I maintain that a bunch of kids can't be shipped out at the drop of a hat, though.
Individual children can certainly be 'removed'. After receiving a call at midday the school has several hours to get things 'arranged'. The difficult part is getting the evidence to prove this as parents can be none the wiser until some time later.
I believe that some schools do put their ratings above the welfare of a child or children which is very wrong. I know there is a lot of pressure to get a good rating but cover up's by HT's are ethically and morally wrong in my opinion.
conspiracytheorist - I think you'll find it's an awful lot more difficult to cover things up than it used to be. Removing children from a class will be noticed - the inspector sees the class list. If a child is missing for any reason other than illness, it would be questioned.
I agree that it used to be easy to cover things up. I used to teach in a school in London, and when we had the 2 weeks notice (this is a number of years ago) the HT sent a note round to staff asking who our most persistently disruptive students were. Those whose names came up most frequently were removed for the whole week. Inspectors did question why some classes were missing so many students, but the HT had done the paperwork correctly (ie to educate them elsewhere for the week) and so nothing could be done about it. At the time, a great many staff were about it. That wouldn't be able to happen now to the same extent - it would be far too obvious and would therefore raise too many questions.
ET Schools can be very clever at covering their tracks if they want to be. I am aware of a 'removal' hours before an inspection, with no plausible explanation other than to improve the Ofsted rating. Any questions asked about it have been either ignored or denied.
When a child is removed do all their records just 'disappear' straight away do you know?
EvilTwins Ofsted only view a sample of lessons in a secondary school, 2 to 3 inspectors for two days , can't view all. Consequently they are able to work around any external exams.
As eviltwins says, data should be available as a norm these days so it shouldn't be a problem to demonstrate progression against targets. Schools/academies use their management information systems to record among other information details of targets, attainments and progress. Since 2010, schools have had to provide parents with this information. In most schools now this data is available to teachers real time, some schools\academies provide parents with online portal access to this recorded data as well as generated reports. It's all part of the transparency agenda.
Moving "things around" to "show off" the school EvilTwins, is still manipulation. Schools/academies should only obtain good or outstanding ratings for teaching and learning, based on observation of teachers in normal lessons not standalone demo lessons.
A spot inspections should mean spot inspections not telegraphed inspections. Maybe then parents will get a true picture of what is going on in their schools before its too late for them to take the action to get an 'outstanding' education for their children.
Warwick. Are you a teacher or do you work in a school? Because your beliefs about how Ofsted works and, indeed, how schools works are very far removed from the experiences of myself and other teachers on this thread.
movingtimes. I have a lot of first hand experience both current and past of schools, academies and Ofsted.
Good and outstanding teachers are not afraid of being inspected, there are many good and outstanding teachers in our education system but there are many coasting and weak ones too. Schools and academies should not cover up to protect them - however they do it!
I meant internal exams, sorry, not external. And you are wrong about the number of lessons that are seen. An inspector only needs to see 20-25 mins of a lesson so with planning a team of 2 inspectors can potentially see 60 lessons over a two day period. They would aim to see everyone teach at least once. If I had planned to do an assessment lesson, I would need to be able to change it- teachers don't know in advance which lesson will be observed, so assessments, or reading tests etc need to be moved. We do a reading thing with yr 7 whereby they read for 30 minutes in certain lessons. That needs to be stopped when ofsted are in because they're not interested in seeing it. Those lessons would need to be re-planned. That's not manipulative, it's practical- how can a school be inspected adequately if all the inspectors see us a series of assessment lessons and independent reading sessions?
I can only speak from experience eviltwins, in my area the last 3 secondary schools with 1000+ students that were inspected recently, only had 35-37 lessons observed out of 150+ lessons timetabled each day, some teachers observed twice. This represents only a sample of the total lessons and probably fewer than half the teachers employed. Inspectors also have to build in time to talk to groups of students, SMT, governors etc and study the data submitted by the school. Two days isn't long.
As far as independent reading programmes and assessment lessons are concerned, most teachers I know have outline lesson plans covering at least two lessons in advance for each group, which i'm sure you also have working in an academy, and are adept at shuffling them if necessary to accommodate the unexpected. If inspectors come in they can swap lesson plans for the first day if they included assessments and prepare new for the second day if necessary. Practical lessons including practical assessments would go ahead, in my experience inspectors are advised of these and work around them, as you say they are only in classrooms for 20-25 mins so can be flexible themselves.
I still maintain that 'special' lessons should not be prepared for Ofsted inspections because that could distort the overall school report as well as being unfair to those schools that stand up honestly. All lessons should be forward planned and at least 'good', I'm amazed that anybody disagrees with that.
I don't disagree that lessons should be planned in advance and at least Good. However, teachers are not magicians, and it's not quite as simple as teaching tomorrow's lesson today, is it? Some classes would have to have resources ready (and I mean science equipment or ICT facilities, not photocopies or books) and in other cases resources are shared between classes and have to be booked. I can't think of any other industries whereby professionals might have to change their plans with no notice to keep an external inspector happy. If ofsted want to ditch notice completely, as many parents seem to think they should, then they'll have to accept that they might get a Science exam followed by an independent reading lesson followed by disruption caused by all the girls in yr 8 having HPV jabs. If school inspections should just be a "normal" school day, then that's what will happen. 40 kids in a school play dress rehearsal whilst the teacher's lessons are covered? No English teachers teaching because they're doing GCSE moderation? Maths teachers all out doing extra GCSE revision sessions? All Yr 7 & 8 girls at a talk with an author? These things happen but ofsted don't want to see them.
Whilst some planning should happen well in advance not all will. Planning should take into account how the class respond to the previous lesson and then change accordingly - either to speed the pace, move things on further, slow it down, go over things not understood in initial lesson, etc. Planning should be a working document, with changes being made before, during and after, as a direct response the the children in the class at the time.
An inspector will always ask the kids if this is the sort of thing they normally do.
Am I the only person thinking thatWarwick is an Ofsted inspector?
*movingtimes. I have a lot of first hand experience both current and past of schools, academies and Ofsted.
Good and outstanding teachers are not afraid of being inspected...*
I don't know of any classroom teacher in our current climate who would smugly come out with a statement like this.
Yes they do wonderstuff, so schools may as well present their normal timetable and lessons instead of trying to 'show off' the school in better light as previous contributors have indicated.
The point hula was about swapping assessment lesson for normal lesson if Ofsted arrives unannounced, if the teacher decides that was necessary. The lesson prior to the assessment lesson would have been a 'normal' lesson and the one following would have been a 'normal' lesson, wouldn't they? The classroom teacher would have known how the previous lesson went, as you say planning is a working document, the outline decided in advance and adjusted according to progress made lesson by lesson.
As far as working around the normal workings of a school EvilTwins, that is what is expected, over the two days inspectors get to see the proportion of normal lessons and teachers that they want to see, after all in a secondary school they have 300+ lessons to choose from over two days. In my experience practical assessments continue as normal.
Most schools only get inspected for two days every 4 years, if the maths teachers were out one day they would be inspected the next, if year 8 Were having jabs one day, they would be seen the next. I'm sure once the inspectors arrive they would be quite capable of planning around these things, if they can't they shouldn't be judging others on their planning and implementation etc.
We had an external inspection recently - not ofsted but as good as. We were told that they would not be interested in seeing assessments etc. in the past, I have had to move a full school production because it was anticipated that we would be inspected during the half term it was planned for. Anyone who thinks that ofsted sees a "normal" school (in ANY school) is pretty naive. For example, I showed my yr 10 GCSE class a film of a play this afternoon. I had planned to do so, and it fitted with what they're doing. I am fully aware that, in terms if ofsted inspection criteria, the lesson would have been deemed inadequate. Had ofsted come in, I would have done something else. Is that manipulative?
Just to update, the teacher was told the evening before the visit to take a couple of days at home due to the sniffles they had
Whatever. Getting well fed up with this school. It is not a happy place.
Yes DilemmaTime, manipulation is still rife, it's just not admitted. So long as advance notice is given there is no way or will to stop it I'm afraid.
Ho hum. We've been Ofsteded this week - and three of the teachers I would rate as 'struggling' (or shit) were mysteriously not in. One apparently was on a course, and two were poorly.
Really? Seems co-incidental to me. And their classes were then not Ofsteded, because there was a supply teacher in. Ofsted simply observed the other teachers in that department.
Supply teachers were very experienced retired members of staff. So, yes, I know that Ofsted can watch a lesson taken by someone on supply - but I suspect the school decided that if they did so, it would at least go better than with the normal staff member. Or maybe I'm just cynical.
Well, I have proof of an illegal exclusion made within hours after school received the notification 'phone call but Ofsted are not interested in investigating it further .
You are not cynical sowornout, just honest. Schools and teachers that cover up are not being fair to their students or parents or to those honest schools and teachers that allow themselves to be inspected fairly.
There were a couple of members of staff absent during our recent Ofsted too. I have no idea if they are struggling and decided they were not coming in to jeopardise our chances, or if they were genuinely ill. They were definitely NOT told be SMT to take time off though, SMT were rather vocal in their annoyance about Ofsted watching cover lessons.
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