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Ofsted reports

(22 Posts)
Goofus Thu 29-Nov-12 18:15:06

AIBU to think it's totally unneccesary for Ofsted reports to always make reference to the majority of pupils being from White background with a small minority from ethnic backgrounds (well that seems to be the case for schools round my way, anyway)

Just, why? Why does it matter?

MrsMushroom Thu 29-Nov-12 18:20:27

It matters because in schools where a majority of pupils have English as a second language, their results will be different than those who have a majority with English as a first language.

Goofus Thu 29-Nov-12 18:22:22

But they make a separate comment abut how many children speak English as a second language.
Just because you're classed as Ethnic Minority doesn't mean English is your second language, either.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 18:48:13

Do you think there is a reason they shouldn't say?

It doesn't bother me that they say it, it might be of interest to a parent who is looking for either a very ethnically diverse school or one that isn't particularly diverse. I think the amount of diversity within a school can be both positive and negative at times, so if it matters to parents, then I don't see why they shouldn't mention it.

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 18:54:08

I don't mind them mentioning it. What annoys me is that those ethnic minority tickboxes are stupid, you know White British, Asian etc, what the heck do you do if your ethnicity is not one of the boxes or you fit several?

Oh why do whites get lumped in together..... ? A school could now have a huge number of white Poles in it for example. I suppose there is more argument for giving more details of the languages of the children than the skin colour / ethnicity.

redskyatnight Thu 29-Nov-12 18:58:37

DD's last school Ofsted said her school was "just under 50% White British with the remainder from a number of different ethnic minorities". Which is indeed the make up of the school. And also the local area. So I suppose it tells me that this is truly a "local" school. I sort of see what OP is getting at though. Why should the mix of ethnic minorities at a school make any difference? Providing this info is leaving the school open to being picked (or not) because of the ethnic backgrounds of the children. But on the other hand I think schools get funding for stuff like that? The secretary at school suggested I might like to put "mixed race" rather than "refuse to say" for DD's ethnicity on some form or other because it would get the school more money (disclaimer - I may have this story slightly distorted).

lljkk Thu 29-Nov-12 19:09:22

Ofsted can't say whether cultural diversity is a highly relevant factor without collecting & assessing the data.

DC attend very British white schools & I'm sure that does affect their education experience (for better & worse).

alistron1 Thu 29-Nov-12 19:55:20

Maybe because white british kids do tend to under perform compared to kids from other ethnic groups?

BridgetBidet Thu 29-Nov-12 20:11:18

Working class white British kids do. White British kids overall hover round the middle, Chinese and Indian tend to do better and black and Pakistani/Bangladeshi tend to do worse.

But I guess that's kind of irrelevant Alistron1 cos I suspect you were just trying to be inflammatory...

OpheliaPayneAgain Thu 29-Nov-12 20:15:30

Can I tell you something about Ofsted?

I do hope it makes your hair curl.

As a parent and a tax payer I had an attack of moral indignation.

Ofsted rent themselves out, pre-inspection, to schools etc to show them how to pass an inspection. So the auditor teaches the accountant how to screw the books.

I would have no issue with a private consultancy of ex-Ofsted inspectors freelancing, but Ofsted its-self? Corrupt.

So, those of you that think all those league tables and inspection reports are pukka, think on.

Catsnotrats Thu 29-Nov-12 20:21:48

White British children will always hover around the middle as they make up more than 50% of all children. However it is important to see how much other ethnic groups deviate from the average, as certain groups do over or under perform.

Because of this Ofsted do look at ethnic make-up of a school as it can and will differ from the EAL numbers. This is particularly important when looking at Black British children (and some Pakistani and Bangladeshi children) who will have English as a first language. Ofsted do look very closely at whether these children (because nationally they underperform) are achieving the same as others in the school. If not it raises serious concerns about the school.

One other factor that doesn't come up in EAL figures is that it is what first language is reported by parents, which isn't always accurate. Quite a few parents who come from other countries are worried that their child will be penalised if they say that they don't speak English at home and so will not put the home language on data collection forms. Therefore ethnicity can be a more accurate way of judging the situation of a school.

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 20:50:57

What is a WHITE BRITISH child? What is a BLACK BRITISH child? White incorporates masses of nationalities and cultures, so does black........ eg blacks could come from ethic background such as Caribbean, West African, East African, South African, Oceania.... and what about those who can trace in 2 generations 5 + ethnicities, where do you stick them??? There are some many possibilities, surely a politically correct statistician could play with the divisions to say whatever they wished about any "grouping".

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 20:52:46

PS shouldn't underperforming groups come down in the end to THEIR PARENTS? You surely can't blame schools for the fact these children underperform. I always got the impression that the children who underperform, do so because their parents don't value their education.

Catsnotrats Thu 29-Nov-12 21:06:18

Natation, That's why the term Black British is used, so that it can incorporate people who define themselves as British (usually meaning that they were born in the UK) but are of Black heritage (which can be as wonderfully diverse as you suggest, although in reality most people only have one or two cultural heritages, but that is slowly changing). All ethnic data is self-defined, so if parents want to tick other or leave it blank if they wish. I myself tick white British, even though I have a slightly more complicted background, because I'm British (among other things) and white.

I find your second post slightly offensive, because effectively you are saying most black, bangladeshi and Pakistani parents don't care about their child's education. My experience is that certainly isn't the case - the reasons are far more complicated than that. And it does include blaming schools in some circumstances.

Jossysgiants Thu 29-Nov-12 21:08:37

Opheliapayne I am already curly but wow-shocking. Poachers turned gamekeepers or maybe the other way round. I have always been suspicious of them though which is why they are referred to as Ofsted Schmofsted in this house.

maillotjaune Thu 29-Nov-12 21:16:48

Natation our school has a large minority of pupils from another European country (not Poland), and OFSTED refer to that in their reports.

ghoulelocks Thu 29-Nov-12 21:21:44

OpeliaPayne...eh? I'd buy this service into my school if it existed!

The only way to get through now is good data. If the data is lovely, progress/ attainment above national average Ofsted is a walk in the park. On the other hand if KS2 SATs results show a downward trend or if children don't progress from their baseline as they should then there's little point in trying. They look at your data and come in with their conclusion 80-90% in place, bar a huge safeguarding mess or something else like that.

I've been in both situations. Simple explanation: teaching can NEVER be judged as good/ outstanding unless your SATs results show good progress. Whatever they see on the day your results demonstrate that teaching is NOT effective. OR the other way round, lessons appear borderline but children in all groups progress well in their learning, there is a presumption that overall teaching must be effective and leadership consistent and strong.

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 21:40:14

thank goodness OFSTED breaks down a bit better than the outdated ethnic minority monitoring form which I just won't fill in as you have to tick one box and I don't fit into just one!

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 21:47:49

oh dear where did I say Pakistanis don't value education? Go on quote me. Well you can't because I didn't say that or even infer that.

I haven't a clue who underperforms in OFSTED inspected schools any more, but in the one my children used to go to, it was those children who came in sporadically to school, whose parents saw it as no more than babysitting service, who were the ones who really struggled. 95% of the school would have been classed as white and British at birth with parents British at birth, not a single Pakistani or Bangladeshi in the school. It failed its OFSTED inspection, rightly so, my husband was given the job by the LEA of sacking the head teacher as he was put in place as chair of governers and then "leaned" on sack the head teacher who resigned on day the LEA summoned him for the verdict.

Some people make huge assumptions about what people don't actually write. So catsnotrats, you really should assume anything.

OpheliaPayneAgain Thu 29-Nov-12 21:50:24

ghoulelocks

I'd buy this service into my school if it existed!

We've been 'mock-stead-ed'.

fake fake fake - it's all bollocks as you well know.

Haggisfish Fri 30-Nov-12 09:06:16

Service ophelia refers to is provided regularly - we had a current Ofsted inspector act as a 'consultant' for the past year, coming in to help school prepare more effectively for reinspection. I'm sure he made a packet from it, as well as being an inspector. It was useful, and quite good in terms of teachers being able to enter a dialogue about the inspection process and the feedback/advice given. As teachers, we were given the opportunity to go round with him and watch classes/grade accordingly - it was very useful, actually.

Haggisfish Fri 30-Nov-12 09:07:20

But, on the whole, ofsted reports will be one of the last things I use to inform my child's school choice when we get there!

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