How bad is this on a scale of 1 to 10?

(44 Posts)
roisin Fri 03-May-13 17:30:27

Ofsted like schools to consult their students and do "student voice" questionnaires.
* ds2 is in yr9 and they duly filled in a questionnaire. Many of them are unhappy about a number of issues in school at the moment, and included these in their questionnaires.
* The school then held an assembly and - among other things - reminded the students that there are other schools, and they could always move if they're not proud to be there.
* Individual students (including my son) who had mentioned individual teachers, members of staff, or the HT had interviews with Head of Lower School or other senior staff to discuss.
* Then today (maybe 6 weeks since the original questionnaire) they had to re-do their questionnaires! shock And this was done in their form room with their form teacher, the Head of Lower school and the Deputy of Lower school prowling round the classroom, looking over their shoulders to see what they were writing!

It's not just me is it? This is like something from an Orwell novel? I am outraged. Or am I overreacting?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 03-May-13 18:01:30

No, it doesn't sound great to me!

Do you agree with your Ds's point of view?
Would you consider contacting the school and asking them about the questionnaires to see what they say?

cardibach Fri 03-May-13 18:20:15

ON the scale of 1 - 10? 15. It shows a lack of respect for the pupils and a real fear that the issues the pupils raise will be confirmed by OFSTED. It is also cheating - if they are prepared to do this, what is happening with GCSE/A level coursework?
I would write to the inspectors directly and tell them this is happening. And I hate OFSTED and all it stands for.

roisin Fri 03-May-13 18:24:32

This is not happening during an inspection, but schools do use this kind of info for when Ofsted do land.

One problem is I only have one second hand account. ds2 claims his original form was not rude or disrespectful or silly, but who knows? And maybe others were silly?

We do agree with ds2's views that the school has deteriorated since new head came 2.5 yrs ago.

Shipwrecked - I don't know if I want to contact the school about it. Do you think I should?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 03-May-13 18:25:35

I agree!

I worry that their way of dealing with a problem appears to be stamping on it and sweeping the bits under the carpet!

Contacting OFSTED is a good idea.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 03-May-13 18:29:25

Sorry cross posts.

Contacting the school is up to you... It does depend on the extent to which you agree with your son to be honest.

I can understand not wanting to if this is their way of dealing with issues.

There may not be an inspection now, but these results are what they are planning to show a team if they do come

tiggytape Fri 03-May-13 18:36:23

I would tell Ofsted too.
And I agree it is worrying on a much deeper level. It suggests the school knows it has flaws and failings and is determined to address these by shouting down anybody who points them out instead of taking on board concerns and improving things.

BackforGood Fri 03-May-13 18:36:59

Like Cardibach - I'm no fan of OFSTED, but that is actually shocking, and I would be giving serious thoughts to letting OFSTED know this is what the school are doing.
Anyway, OFSTED inspectors would expect to see a small % that were immature, and quite possibly rude or facetious, surely ?

PoppadomPreach Fri 03-May-13 18:38:42

Yes I was also going to say tell OFSTED - the school doing this basically nullifies the point of the questionnaire, so the school should not score any "brownie points" by ticking the bos that says the survey has been completed properly.

Definitely a 10 I'd say.

tiggytape Fri 03-May-13 18:39:36

Anyway, OFSTED inspectors would expect to see a small % that were immature, and quite possibly rude or facetious, surely ?

And that's just the teachers (joking - honestly joking!)

Mondrian Fri 03-May-13 18:41:45

How do other parents feel about this?

RedHelenB Fri 03-May-13 18:42:41

Individual teachers should not have been named on questionnaires HTH.

roisin Fri 03-May-13 18:45:16

I spoke to a couple of parents after the first assembly they had on it, and we were all similarly eyebrows raised about that.

I haven't spoken to other parent yet about the re-doing of the questionnaires.

Hassled Fri 03-May-13 18:45:17

You're not over-reacting.
Why weren't the questionnaires anonymous?
I think you should contact the Chair of Governors about your concerns. He/she will fully understand quite how badly this would go down with Ofsted.

Mondrian Fri 03-May-13 18:47:09

Must follow it up, preferably with other parents on board.

BackforGood Fri 03-May-13 18:51:32

Tiggy grin

roisin Fri 03-May-13 18:52:32

RedHelenB - ds2 named the Head Teacher under the question:
If you could change one thing about this school, what would it be?

AvrilPoisson Fri 03-May-13 18:53:24

The questionnaires are supposed to be anonymous! shock
I would report them to ofsted.

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 19:01:14

OMG. As a parent of 3 and as a former Parent Governor of very large senior state school, I'd rank it as 11/10. It is utterly APPALLING and wholly unnacceptable. Even if your DS was 'silly'/whatever in his first one, the OFSTED crew are well capable of weeding those ones out and aggregating the whole process of scoring and assessing.

I would NOT report it to the school (if Head is shite enough to do this, then can be pretty certain he may somehow take it out on your son which would be pants both per se, but also ESP. with GCSEs on horizon) - unequivocally WOULD though report it as a matter of urgency to OFSTED; ideally collectively with other parents, or if feel need to for fear of retribution - can't believe actually felt the need to just write that last bit shock - annonymously but being clear as to WHY feel need to to remain anon. (as that speaks volumes in itself) AND the fact that other parents have confirmed events as reported to you.

NB: FWIW, I have no idea why someone would post that individual teachers shouldn't be named? If the only opp. students feel they have to be honest about a teacher is the OFSTED opportunity, how is that wrong? confused

Whilst 99.99% of teachers are INCREDIBLE, & often going well above and beyond the call of duty (& salary...); the ones that AREN'T great are:
i) uber bad for school; morale; pupils; &
ii) INCREDIBLY hard to remove (bitter and angry recollections of this when we needed to try and remove a teacher - obviously for very very solid reasons as is NOT something any Head or Board of Governors would do lightly - but was virtually impossible in SPITE of the impact they had on their colleagues as well as all else)

Nickmom Fri 03-May-13 19:03:06

My daughter's school was in a really bad way. Headmistress quite hated by parents as she was rude and ineffective. All parents filled out forns detailing the silly things which went on and the issues with several young teachers who did things like spend half their class time checking facebook. The school got an "outstanding." With reviews saying all parents were very happy. I would say don't waste your time.

senua Fri 03-May-13 19:41:48

Parents can give Ofsted their feedback through Parent View. I don't know how true it is, but I have heard them say that enough negative comments will trigger an Inspection i.e. outside the normal review cycle. The only drawback is that the questionnaire is not anonymous (but it doesn't take much computer knowledge to set up a hotmail/gmail in an, erm, imaginative name).
Mobilise the parents!

roisin Fri 03-May-13 20:17:06

According to the website, Ofsted has access to the email address, but not the school.

admission Fri 03-May-13 21:58:49

The school is simply deluding themselves as to the "current student voice of the school" and making themselves a very poor example for all their students to follow.
Yes of course there would have been some stupid comments, they are teenagers, but I bet most of the comments were actually a very good indicator of what is happening in the school.
The school needed to do something about the comments that were sensible and then have another questionnaire so that they could gauge as to whether they had taken the actions or not. If they treated the students like young adults they find they respond like adults to future questionnaires.
Ofsted do use the Parent View site to gauge opinions from parents about the school, so a few comments about why the school felt it appropriate to scrap a questionnaire that gave the wrong answers would I suspect lead to a few interesting questions. An Ofsted inspector could ask to see the results of the questionnaire if is was spelt out exactly when it was done on Parent View. School might find themselves with a bit of explaining to do if they have ditched the original answers in favour of the "right" answers.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 03-May-13 22:16:37

1) This should absolutely have been anonymous. It is at our school.

2) If the students have concerns, they should at least be listened to. That is the whole point of the exercise. We recently had a whole school meeting to discuss the feedback from a recent student survey with all staff taking seriously the issues students have raised.

miffybun73 Fri 03-May-13 22:19:10

10 - that's terrible. I'm really shock

roisin Sat 04-May-13 07:45:17

My decision as to what to do is further complicated by the fact that dh has a new job and we're moving (long way); so ds2 is only there for 5 more weeks. This means we could say:

a) it's not our concern any longer, or
b) we've got nothing to lose, le's give them both barrels
c) if we upset the Head of Lower School now, she might give a reference to the new school marking him out as a trouble maker.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 04-May-13 08:06:30

I do think it is worth talking to other parents about it because you will not be the only ones with concerns.

I don't think this should affect a future school (it wouldn't us). It's great news that you are out of it all though, I would be uncomfortable staying in a school like this. I'd still report it if I were you.

Congrats on the move smile

cornypringle Sat 04-May-13 09:12:18

is this a private school?

roisin Sat 04-May-13 09:18:57

Thanks Shipwrecked: it used to be a great school, but we're much less impressed with it now, so we're delighted to be out of there!

Cornypringle - no, it's a non-selective state school.

cornypringle Sat 04-May-13 09:22:59

I'm just shock at the arrogance of the staff
holding an assembly about it!!!

roisin Sat 04-May-13 09:29:06

They've had at least two assemblies about it!

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 04-May-13 11:14:00


Nothing puts teenagers off more than try hard teachers!!! They sniff out a conspiracy so fast.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 04-May-13 11:14:31

Especially try hard senior management smile

Frikadellen Sat 04-May-13 13:32:41


We moved our dd2 from a outstanding primary due to very poor management At the time we went with the " it is no longer of our business and just went on with things.

it is now many years later and I regret it. So I would say go ahead and make the complaint. At least you will know you did your bit.

Clary Sun 05-May-13 00:38:00

Agree with others roisin, very much not OK.

Pupils' opinions are no use at all if they are treated in this way. Same for staff.

Off topic - where are you moving to? Anywhere in this direction?? grin

roisin Sun 05-May-13 07:52:14

Hi Clary! I messaged you.

Tanith Sun 05-May-13 21:56:39

Sounds to me like your DS2 got the right answer grin

Jimmybob Sun 05-May-13 23:46:54

v.v. bad indeed

Nehru Sun 05-May-13 23:47:54


As you are the COOlest girl in cooltown I would say it is shit

steppemum Mon 06-May-13 00:05:01

I think this is appalling. The questionnaires should have been anonymous

Given the obvious atmosphere in response to criticism, I would write a letter to Ofsted, just stating exactly what you have said here in your OP. You can ask to remain confidential, so that the school doesn't know it was from you. You are actually ideally placed to do this as you are leaving and so there won't be any repercussions for your dcs.

Please don't let it go, as I think the school only stands a chance of changing if this sort of thing is brought to light. Think od th eothers who are not moving.

roisin Mon 06-May-13 12:35:53

Nehru confused

Nehru Mon 06-May-13 14:42:53

its me!

3littlefrogs Mon 06-May-13 14:52:00

The school reports from Dd's school have a section for feedback asking for comments or concerns.

In year 7 I put a short sentence about something (can't remember now what it was). Dd was hauled into the HOY's office for an "interview" regarding this, and was essentially blamed for making it all up.

Now I leave this section blank.

roisin Mon 06-May-13 17:11:03

I think this may be quite common 3littlefrogs: schools don't actually want constructive criticism, when the 'consultation' is just a box-ticking exercise for Ofsted!

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