OMG they put the school in SM

(10 Posts)
MamaLaMoo Tue 15-Oct-13 12:03:15

We were rated outstanding 3 years ago. The school has been rated good with elements of outstanding for several inspections before that.

Year 9 bottom set group, 17 kids. Inspector didn't know they were bottom set they did such good work, refused to give the teacher outstanding because only 14/17 kids had gone back through their perfectly marked books and corrected everything. It was like this in lesson after lesson, a teacher slated because the class wrote down the aims of the lesson (a waste of time apparently), HOD saying how their feedback session had been critical because the inspector hadn't seen a certain set of data, "but he didn't ask for it, I had it there on my laptop, he kept talking about something else" HOD said.

Overall school performance has dropped a few (<5%) A*-C in last 2 years. Crucially it has just dipped under the national average for the first time. One major department has the problem (therefor it is affecting the Ebacc) other two of the top 3 (Eng, Maths, Sci) are strong and I mean A*-C in the high 80s% for one of them, high 60s% for the other. A Level results are excellent.

But to put the entire school in SM because one department needs a kick up the bum? WTF? To say we are shocked is a total understatement. Bombshell doesn't come close. Alternating between furious and baffled. I don't suffer fools gladly so believe me when I say most of my colleagues are good teachers, about a third are really excellent. There are some muppets but they are a small minority. We didn't have a complete change of staff since the last inspection, staff turnover is low, HOD are a bunch of shrewd managers and good teachers.

I have had 3 Ofsted's, the other two were fair, one school got 2s and 3s on the old system, the other got 1 and deserved it. This just stinks like a stitch up. They had made up their minds before they walked through the door and nit picked over everything to find something to justify their decision. What now? Oh dear God what do we do now?

EvilTwins Tue 15-Oct-13 17:39:29

Don't panic.

TBH, the new OFSTED criteria is all about nitpicking- there seems to be a number of limiting criteria which will put a whole school into a category even if much of what they see is a 3 or even a 2. My guess is that the results were the clincher. That and progress. What's your intake like?

bronya Tue 15-Oct-13 17:42:10

I think they walk in now, with their minds made up from the data, and make the inspection fit a report they've already written.

HedgeHogGroup Tue 15-Oct-13 20:19:01

You'll be an academy by Christmas - its just an exercise in self-justification for Gove & Wilshaw sad

Fugacity Tue 15-Oct-13 21:02:01

TBF, the last 10 years has been ridiculous in the number of outstandings awarded. A correction has been long needed.

There is a focus on data - achievement and added value. And so there should be.

5madthings Tue 15-Oct-13 21:10:03

Not a teacher but my sons high school just had this and yep now an academy, my boys school had issues with management and leadership and one yr where GCSE results dropped, but last years results back up again this year.

As a parent I don't have any faith in ofsted reports.

The last school my ds1 was at was 'good' with some outstanding but ds1 was miserable and lessons were disrupted and lots if staff on long term sick leave, different fill in staff all the time etc. Its GCSE results are worse than the school they are at now, I don't understand how ofsted works at all.

I hope it all works out for your school and parents are supportive xx

I'm so sorry. Secondary teacher here. I agree, the whole thing stinks.

DD's primary (where I am a governor) just went down to RI. It was all about national averages; they had no interest in intake or progress. How has all that disappeared in such a short space of time?

Hope you're OK.

Snargaluff Tue 15-Oct-13 21:36:01

This exact scenario happened to my school in terms of that level of same nit picking, but we were brought down to good from outstanding ffs!!

It's all bollocks anyway. Sorry for you though, can only imagine atmosphere in staffroom

I feel your pain - this was us almost exactly 12 months ago. And yup, we are now an academy.

Working in a school in special measures is by far and away the most pressure i have ever had in my career. It's truly horrible. Sorry sad

MamaLaMoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:20:16

Good to hear from others in the same boat.

The academy conspiracy theory goes like this...its a carrot and stick approach. The outstanding result 3 years ago was the carrot but the old head resisted the pressure and stayed in LO control. New head (he's been here a term) and the stick is now wheeled out. Drop to SM and raise academy status as the only way out in quick time.

The conspiracy deepens, the other school in the town, exact same intake (FSM and SEN in 2nd from bottom quintile), same size, had their results in a key dept drop 30% last year (2011-2012). Their overall results are >10% lower than ours, number of students making expected progress is !5% less, they were inspected last June and rated good. They are an academy converter school.

There is nothing wrong with being an academy, it's good to have that as an option if the parents and governors want it. But why the use of Ofsted as a way to exert pressure? That is just wrong. And how can a school down the road with double the drop in results that we had get rated good and we get rated SM?

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