Ofsted Report - Level 4 Special Measures Concern

(26 Posts)
HerNibs1980 Fri 18-Oct-13 20:47:56

Hi guys

Last year I moved counties and although I am an athiest I put my children into a Roman Catholic school as it had the best Ofsted report in the area at Level 1 Outstanding. However they have just had the latest report out and it has come back as level 4 inadequate across ALL areas and is under special measures.

I am so concerned as not only are they learning a religion I dont agree with but they don't seem to be even getting an adequate education. I am considering moving them but it would be the second school change in a year and the first change was so hard for my eldest DS with him crying alot as so unhappy with not making friends.

I am so confused amd dont know what to do. Does anyone have any experience of this? Does aanyone know how long it takes the school to raise standards?

Thanks in advance.

shebird Fri 18-Oct-13 20:51:44

That's quite a leap. Have there been any major changes in staffing and HT? Have you any other causes for concern?

junkfoodaddict Fri 18-Oct-13 20:59:18

OFSTED have radically shifted the goal posts in their inspection criteria and quite frankly, means very little.
Stuff the OFSTED report, get into school, find out from your own eyes and ears and THEN make up your mind.
If your child is happy, I'd let him stay. At primary School happiness is more important rather than being pushed and pushed and continually told you're not good enough and given endless targets just to reach thr Government's unrealistic expectations.
I don't trust OFSTED. My THREE local schools are all Outstanding and I like neither one of them!!!

missmapp Fri 18-Oct-13 21:13:03

If they are in special measures then loads of help , support and pressure will be heading their way. The head will probably be forcibly changed and I think you will see changes fairly quickly. It may be worth hanging in there, but I agree with going with your instinct- that is worth far more than OFSTED.

JakeBullet Fri 18-Oct-13 21:14:25

Yep, OFSTED have moved all the goalposts and it is scary.

I agree with junkfood, get in there and see what you think for yourself and look at if your children are happy.

I know from experience of a school locally to me that OFSTED don't give the schools long....they wanted to see a massive improvement within six months at one of our local schools. The HT didn't feel it was achievable and left to be replaced with a new HT and now a year on the school has had a good monitoring visit....all on the up.

How religious is the school? My DS is in a RC school (and we are Catholci) but what I like is that the religion is not "in yer face" iykwim. So if it is a generally okay school with regards to that then I would go much more on your feel for the school and how happy your DC already are.

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 21:18:53

DDs secondary school has gone from, good with outstanding features to SM in the time she's been there.

The only thing that's changed is the exam results have got better confused

HerNibs1980 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:50:25

Yeah see I was never very happy with the school from when we first started there as their old school was an outstanding academy and the change to this school, even though I was under the impression it was outstanding at this point, was really noticeably down hill on so many areas. My eldest dd wants to move but he said that last time when we moved here and it was horrific for him. He's just started making friends and been invited to 2 birthday parties where the last year he wasnt invited to any and it really upset him. And moving him to new one coukd put him back in that situation again.

I habe a complaint going through about a teacher atm, even before I knew about ofsted report, becayse his teacher is awful and he's constantly complaining shes shouting at him. Thats in the process of going through now. He has friends, not in his year, at a school round the corner with a good ofsted report. But my childminder cant do pick up from there which would mean finding a new childminder there aswell. Plus...not trying to sound horrible but that school is known for mums kicking off at each other in the school grounds so not sure I want to deal with that.

Yes they had a new head teacher since the last ofsted report who is now "off on long term sick"

HerNibs1980 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:51:12

Eldest ds sorry not dd.

HerNibs1980 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:52:51

And really sorry bout my typos...am rubbish at typing on my phone. Lol.

junkfoodaddict Fri 18-Oct-13 21:56:13

starball that is what happened at our school.
A 22% increase to 87% in 3 years wasn't enough. We're a RI school. OFTSED team ADMITTED the inspection was for political purposes. Apparently the local MP was instrumental in making Gove look like a prick when it came to changing the secondary curriculum and then all of a sudden our county had an OFTSED blitz. We were one o the unlucky few - a big reason why I do not trust them. oh, and the lead inspector had NO EXPERIENCE of primary teaching.

Phoebe47 Fri 18-Oct-13 22:41:10

When will our Prime Minister see through Gove and see that he is going to ruin education in this country.

ilovesooty Sat 19-Oct-13 08:23:04

Why is off on long term sick in invited commas?

tiggytape Sat 19-Oct-13 13:23:43

Firstly it could be that the Outstanding Ofsted was really out of date. Sometimes outstanding schools have been left to their own devices and have either slipped or just got complacent. If the Ofsted report is from years ago then it probably isn't worth the paper it is written on.

I disagree with the whole 'ignore Ofsted, they've Gove's puppets' spiel. It is true Ofsted does have a new agenda – progress not just attainment. This is good. Too many “outstanding schools” were only ever outstanding due to high ability and easy intakes of children. Ofsted does have limitations but it also has an important place in assessing schools.
It is all very well as a parent to go and have a nosey around and ask awkward questions but they aren't going to let you paw over the data, question staff confidentially and observe multiple lessons. As I say, it definitely has limitations (being a snap shot in time and quickly out of date being one of them) but if Ofsted say the school has serious problems, the chances are the school has serious problems. And you have been unhappy with it even before Ofsted gave their verdict.

Moving schools is a big step but the good news about going into special measures is that things won't be allowed to continue as they are. Huge efforts will go into putting things right and turning things around. On the downside this can mean some upheaval but on the plus side, schools can and do make radical improvements in a short space of time. Don't feel you must move just based on an Ofsted report - you can see how things pan out over the next few months when hopefully a lot of work will be done to make things better

nennypops Sat 19-Oct-13 17:12:23

Ofsted seems to be in a state of chaos and is being increasingly devalued. Look at their findings on Stanbridge School - outstanding in May 2012, failing in January 2013. Ridiculous.

NoComet Sat 19-Oct-13 17:21:00

Suffice to say, I have poured over the data. There are could do betters, but they are not big enough for me not to smell a large rat.

We are on the the very edge of a grammar school area, we are more comp. than secondary modern. Some schools in the area aren't. There is much reorganisation and expansion of sixth forms hmm

NoComet Sat 19-Oct-13 17:25:39

junkfood what is a RI school, google is being signally unhelpful and just telling me about schools in Rhode Island.

admission Sat 19-Oct-13 18:57:51

RI is requires improvement, which is what used to be called satisfactory but now is no longer satisfactory, only a rating of good is considered appropriate. To be honest I agree with that, why should pupils be short-changed in their education by getting substandard teaching.
The other thing that is really important is that the new inspection regime came in sept 2012 and so when nennypops says outstanding to failing from May 2012 to Jan 2013 it is partially about the inspection being based on completely different parameters. One result of these significant changes is that the level of outstanding judgments has dropped from around 20% to 5%, so if a school goes from outstanding to good I would not be worried by that. However outstanding to requires improvement or in a category is cause for concern and where it is necessary to look carefully at what the Ofsted report is saying. Yes Ofsted has a really bad press but in many instances what they say is actually not unrealistic about the school.

JWIM Sun 20-Oct-13 13:48:09

Just on the matter of Stanbridge Earls school - now closing - Ofsted missed serious safeguarding issues when they declared the school Outstanding. Ofsted were required to revisit after a hearing in which pupil allegations of rape were at issue. On the revisit the school was found to be failing and is now closing. Ofsted were criticised for the inspection findings at the earlier inspection.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Oct-13 14:19:13

Tiggy,

I'd just want to pick up on this one:
"It is true Ofsted does have a new agenda – progress not just attainment."

I agree with you that the focus on progress has been a revelation in high-attaining schools with 'easy' intakes, and has brought some much-needed balance at that end of the spectrum of schools.

There are some issues at the other end of the continuum, as there are some 'absolutes' around attainment (even in the presence of outstanding progress numbers) which limit the judgements given to schools with brilliant progress in difficult catchments.

So if attainment isn't considered 'good enough' (below government benchmark), then even if progress is extraordinary, the school will get a 4 or at best a 3. So lack of progress can 'over-ride' good attainment, but excellent progress cannot over-ride poor attainment.

tiggytape Sun 20-Oct-13 15:03:45

Yes that is true. Generally floor standards though are considered achievable, or some would even say a low bar, so any school unable to reach them would be deemed to be failing.

If for any reason a school made outstanding progress but could not reach the floor standards, they would be penalised for that but again that is quite rare. Most schools are reaching the floor standards even if they are inadequate in all sorts of other ways (less than 200 secondaries are below it in the whole country) and most of those failing to meet the floor standard are also failing in terms of progress too. Since 2010 there has been a progress measurement written into the floor standards too.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Oct-13 15:18:36

Tiggy,

I do happen to know of a school that has increased its 'headline' GCSE results by c.20%, has brilliant progress numbers (because such a high percentage of its intake come in at level 3 or below at the beginning of Year 7), is considered as a centre of amazing practice by research universities, struggles to break the floor standards each year [just made it this year, didn't last], and fights annually with Ofsted (it's on a yearly inspection schedule) over the SM / RI borderline. I agree that such schools are rare.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Oct-13 15:21:33

(It is a little ironic that the same school has letters from its LEA about its brilliantly improved numbers, a letter from the DfE about its innovative practice and how that should be shared nationally .... and a threatening letter about its low headline results triggering yet another ofsted)

crazymum53 Sun 20-Oct-13 15:24:02

Being a Headteacher is very stressful and "being away on long -term sick leave" does happen to a significant number of Heads. It doesn't always reflect on how good that Head is, but it can be very difficult for schools to obtain good acting Heads to provide cover. In this schools case, this will be the first thing that the LEA will do.
Your post does however highlight the dangers of choosing a school based on being rated OFSTED Outstanding even though it is RC (and you are not). Presumeably you were happy initially to compromise on the religious aspect because the education was so good.
If it helps dds primary school was placed in Special Measures when she was in Y1 and there was huge improvement within a year. Most of this was due to having a new Head and Leadership team.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Sun 20-Oct-13 15:37:25

HerNibs I'd be concerned about the OFSTED report as well, but now they will have the inspectors and school advisors all over the place to get them up to standards. I don't think you are entitled to complain about the religious education though, you agreed to that when you sent them to a Roman Catholic school.

NoComet Sun 20-Oct-13 17:08:26

Now RI (requires improvement) would have been fair enough, under the progress rules there are places where a kick up the arse was warranted, but the full SM charade is a totally unnecessary stressful farce.

Except for killing a lot of extra curricular activities, kissing our nice head, stressing many teachers to breaking point and losing pupils it will make fuck all difference.

Except to the odd consultants bank balance angry and to Ofsted who have to look useful angry angry

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now