Help! DD starts school in September and their April Ofsted has downgraded them from Outstanding to Good, should I be worried?

(15 Posts)
Katnisscupcake Tue 14-May-13 10:40:01

As you can probably guess, DD is PFB and so I have no experience on whether the Ofsted results are really majorly impacted by the standards in the school.

When I read the detailed reasons why the school is currently not 'Outstanding' it seems to be based around the teachers, the fact that they are not giving sufficient feedback to the children when marking their work and the children have not been given sufficient time to understand where they went wrong and to put it right.

Having been an outstanding school for 6 years, I have no doubt that the school are addressing this, but would I be within my rights to ask what they're doing to address it?

I don't want to be one of those annoying parents who is always moaning and whinging (and even when I'm complaining about something - I apologise for it because I hate doing it...), but we've actually chosen a school which logistically could cause us problems because it's out of our catchment, because they had an outstanding Ofsted and had a small intake (a little village school).

DD loved the school when we went to see if and two of her friends from her pre-school are going there so she won't be alone. So should I be worried about these latest developments, or just let it go?

Don't worry about it. Goods better IMO because they will know there's always room for improvement. Many outstanding schools get complacent. It may well not have changed much at all as ofsted have moved the goal posts and gradings are harder to get.

Periwinkle007 Tue 14-May-13 10:44:18

I think there have been some changes in Ofsted gradings and I suspect there will be a few downgradings now from what I have seen mentioned on here.

Ofsted is quite hit and miss and should to a point be taken with a pinch of salt. Outstanding is very difficult to achieve and Good is literally that, good.

I don't think there is anything to worry about

OddSockMonster Tue 14-May-13 10:44:39

Just let it go. Those are simple things to rectify, not fundamental problems with the school. You would be within your rights to ask how they're addressing them but they'll probably highlight that to parents in time anyway.

OddSockMonster Tue 14-May-13 10:47:10

You might also find this thread reassuring.

Katnisscupcake Tue 14-May-13 10:48:37

Phew! Thank you all so much... I am a bit of a panicker (poor DD sad) but I know that we all try to do the best for our DC and this is pretty much one of the last choices we can make to help them with their future.

Once they're at school, other than helping them along (or nagging them) their future is down to them! Scary thought... shock

MadeOfStarDust Tue 14-May-13 10:50:58

If you chose a school based on Ofsted alone - then yes it is probably a worry - but as others have said it really should be taken with a pinch of salt - our local primary school's Ofsted recently went from satisfactory to good DESPITE parents complaining to the LA like fury about having had 6 heads in 6 years and a complete lack of continuity, no communication, no management and weak teaching in some areas..... The online parent portal for the school had 35% of parents would NOT recommend this school to other parents..... but they were still upgraded to good - go figure...

Katnisscupcake Tue 14-May-13 10:59:47

MadeOfStarDust, that seems crazy!!

No, luckily we chose the school because the intake for Reception was only 15 (although they haven't had their full intake this year so it will be even less) and was recommended by DD's pre-school as an excellent school. They only have 113 children altogether in the school and it is a lovely village school.

DD is exceptionally shy and quiet and we looked at 4 different local schools. As we left this one she whispered to me 'Mummy, I LOVE that school' and that's what sold it to us. Plus the Headteacher was very dishy blush

The other schools that we looked at were around the same size but all had 'Good' Ofsted ratings (but from years ago, so could potentially be graded lower now if they were to be inspected again). But DD didn't seem quite as enthralled with them.

Also, looking at the 'Parentview' this morning, 100% of parents said they would recommend the school, so that is a good sign aswell I guess.

Periwinkle007 Tue 14-May-13 11:08:05

it sounds like the right school for her which is the main thing. if she loved it then that is more important than anything else

Katnisscupcake Tue 14-May-13 11:11:49

Thanks Periwinkle007, you're right. smile

MadeOfStarDust Tue 14-May-13 11:47:08

I think Parentview is a very good sign indeed - you don't get 100% recommending a bad school - usually those who are happiest and unhappiest put their marks on there quickly! Those who think a school is ok don't tend to bother..... and if she loved it that is the best sign of all! (and a dishy head - where, where,where.........)

Startail Tue 14-May-13 12:01:09

I wouldn't worry at all. My DDs went to a lovely friendly village school that size that has been good, satisfactory and good over the years.

Why because DD1s cohort just missed getting their expected no. of L5s and DD2s lot got theirs.

Utter nonsense, same teacher, very very different children. DD1's lot are quiet, slightly nervous and likely to err on the side of caution.

DD2's bunch are bright and know it, they come from academic households and happily competed with each other since the first reading book of YR.

In any case Ofsted seem to be upgrading and downgrading everyone, just to show they are useful.

noramum Tue 14-May-13 12:05:42

Our Junior school got downgraded with the same reason the OP is stating.

The school took this on, called a parent meeting and introduced new changes. All in a matter of a month after the downgrade.

I will assume that the changes will take place quickly.

But as other say, there is more to a school than Ofsted. We declined an Outstanding school as it felt like a grade-machine and not a place where children like to learn.

ReallyTired Tue 14-May-13 13:06:24

I think you are worrying about nothing. DD (neglected second born) is going to a school in special measures! Her school was good with outstanding features, but OFSTED have toughened up inspectors compared with the past. In the past the inspectors looked at all aspects of education where as now they focus solely on results and progress.

There is zero excuse for schools in challenging areas getting below average results. Prehaps there is plot to force primary schools to become academies.

Katnisscupcake Tue 14-May-13 16:36:33

Thanks all.

Noramum, I get the feeling that this school will do the same thing. The head was very passionate about his school and what they offered, I certainly can't imagine him sitting around not taking ownership of the issues. We have a parents meeting on the 10th July where they will go through all our issues. I'm expecting him to raise the Ofsted result at that session as I'm sure a lot of the parents of the new intake (aswell as existing pupils) will want to understand what's happening.

MadeofStarDust, somewhere in lovely Devon wink.

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