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In thinking the Parent View section of OFSTED is simplistic to say the least?

(27 Posts)
JakeBullet Wed 26-Feb-14 16:27:21

Our school is being "OFSTED'ed" tomorrow and Friday, I have no concerns about them as they have known they were overdue and are well prepared. Obviously they are running round like headless chickens in the pre-OFSTED frenzy that schools go into....I actually feel sorry for them and am sure they will be fine.

As a parent I have had the letter/email asking for my views.

I have loads to say...my DS has made exceptional progress in the school because they have taken the time to support him, understand him and help him to access the curriculum. It is a junior school and when DS entered at Y3 he could not read and writing was a struggle (dyspraxia). My son is in a mainstream school so hey have to cater for children right across the academic spectrum.

Even prior to the Statement of SEN the school put in masses of support for DS....above and beyond the basic requirements. The result was that DS made 17 points of progress within the first year.....after two years he had progressed 23 points of progress in total. He went from not reaching NC Level 1 to being on a par with his peers. This school took my anxious little boy with poor self esteem and gave him his confidence back. He learned that with the right support he COULD do things and that he wasn't stupid.

Not only this but I see this approach to ALL the children in their care...they have also taken one or two children who have been excluded from several schools AND have helped these children make a success of attending school.

So...is there a place on Parents View for me to tell OFSTED this? No of course not...just a bland series of questions about homework, is my child happy there (yes), do I think the school is well run (yes), do they take bullying seriously (yes). All important questions but WHY no place for parents to qualify their answers?

I am going to put my comments in writing tonight and make sure the Inspectors get them tomorrow....even if they don't have time to read them at that point. I feel it is the least I owe this school and it's staff.

I know that OFSTED cannot get involved with individual cases but why not be able to leave comments...either of praise or otherwise?

cansu Wed 26-Feb-14 16:31:59

I think the reason is to prevent parents who have an axe to grind using the ofsted inspection to bring up individual issues that the inspectors cannot consider in their judgements. The team has a very specific remit and needs to have evidence. they can only use the parent view responses if there are a certain number of responses.

TamerB Wed 26-Feb-14 16:32:22

You can write a separate letter-does it not say so? I always have.

WooWooOwl Wed 26-Feb-14 16:39:46

You can write a letter, or get to school for pick up and drop off early and hang around eagerly, inspectors often try to chat to parents at those times.

They will probably take a good look at the achievement of children with sen anyway, so some of the stuff you want them to know they would hopefully find out as a matter of course.

Inspection time is a good time to take in biscuits for the staff room if you want to show appreciation as well smile

It's lovely to hear that you are so happy with your school.

JakeBullet Wed 26-Feb-14 16:56:22

Biscuits it is then WooWoo, was thinking more of wine for Friday night....grin

larry5 Wed 26-Feb-14 17:32:30

My suggestion is both!

Dd is doing her PGCE at the moment and went into her second school placement on Monday. Yesterday lunchtime Ofsted was announced for today and tomorrow and the teachers there are fraught but I am sure that is good for her to see what goes on as the inspection does not actually effect her apart from the fact that she is not teaching for the two days.

I think they are all going to the pub on Friday.

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Feb-14 17:36:46

OFSTED inspectors will see evidence of pupil progress in great detail.

All they want and need is parent's basic views.

DorisAllTheDay Wed 26-Feb-14 18:09:43

OP, whether or not OFSTED can/will take your views into account (I don't know enough about the process to know) I think you should write the letter regardless. And copy it to the headteacher who will no doubt be thrilled to bits to read it during/at the end of what must be a difficult week. And I'm very glad your DS is having such a positive schooling experience. My DDs were very happy in primary school and I now regret not telling her teachers that more often, especially when I read horror stories of what happens in some schools.

Goldmandra Wed 26-Feb-14 18:20:38

My DD's school are expecting to suffer badly from the fact that they are excellent at supporting children with additional needs at their next inspection.

The school has a very high proportion of children with ANs due to their excellent reputation and this affects their attendance and SATs results, especially as they only have them for 18 months before Y6 SATs.

I've written a letter explaining what they have done for my DD, how she would probably be unable to attend at all if they weren't so skilled at managing her anxiety and that the fact that they aren't pushing her in terms of attendance or academic achievement will probably enable her to recover sufficiently from previous school experiences to perform to her potential in her GCSEs in years to come.

I've also offered to phone on the day they are inspected and ask to speak to inspector to express my views verbally. I don't know if it will help but in a fair system it should.

BatmanLovesRobins Wed 26-Feb-14 18:24:56

The issue that I have with Parent View is that my view of the provision the school gives is not necessarily the same for each child. Do I fill it in re: DS2 who I happy and taught well, or DS1, who has had a rough time and is not really understood by his teachers (apart from when he was in Y4, his teacher then was just wonderful)?

Nomama Wed 26-Feb-14 18:25:30

As Doris said, write the letter and give the HT a copy, let the HT know you regard it as an Open Letter to All Staff.

They will be delighted to get it, regardless of the Ofsted feedback. Biccies, meh... give me a letter or email any day - I suspect I have a colleague or 2 who would shoot me for that though smile

Flossyfloof Wed 26-Feb-14 18:28:21

What a nice thing to do and what great support your son has had.

elportodelgato Wed 26-Feb-14 18:38:50

Hi Jake, are our kids at the same school?!? We are also being Ofsteded tomorrow and Friday and I have also just completed the survey and wished there were opportunity to say lots lots more of lovely glowing things about the staff and the school ethos.

Thanks to whoever up thread reminded me about bringing in biscuits for the staff room smile

JakeBullet Wed 26-Feb-14 19:19:00

elporto....SAL Juniors?

Thepoodoctor Wed 26-Feb-14 19:26:09

My DS also has SN and has received fantastic support from the school.

I wrote a letter to the inspectors which was certainly much appreciated by school and I believe, read by the inspection team!

elportodelgato Wed 26-Feb-14 19:47:59

Ah nope, different schools, we are in Hackney smile

zeezeek Wed 26-Feb-14 19:58:36

OP - I think that's a really lovely thing to do. Sometimes all schools and Ofsted seem to hear are complaints as parents who are genuinely happy with the school don't speak up.....it would be fantastic for the staff, just as they are about to go completely crazy, paranoid and downright terrified and doubting their abilities.....to hear from a lovely, grateful parent like you. It makes it all worthwhile. (No, I'm not a teacher - just the daughter of 2 and a governor!)

HadABadDay2014 Wed 26-Feb-14 20:07:37

What an amazing school. Well done to your son for all the hardworking he has put in.

Jinsei Wed 26-Feb-14 21:11:23

I know what you mean, I felt the same when our fantastic school was inspected last year. I wanted the inspectors to know how brilliant and dedicated all the teachers were, and what a happy, supportive and stimulating environment the school had managed to create, so I wrote a letter. I know that the inspectors read it as they quoted it in their report! smile

Jinsei Wed 26-Feb-14 21:19:39

We also baked a cake for the teachers after the inspectors had gone, and sent in a card for all of the staff. It's an incredibly stressful time for the head and the teachers, and we wanted them to know that their hard work was appreciated, no matter what ofsted thought. As it turned out, they were rated outstanding and rightly so.

I have it on good authority that dd's comments in the card reduced a number of the staff to tears! grin

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Feb-14 21:22:53

All you lovely people who thank the staff after an ofsted inspection, don't forget us governors!

We do what we do for free cos we're mad grin

Jinsei Wed 26-Feb-14 21:28:50

I know worra, my mum was a governor for years, they do a very important job. The thing is, they tend to get forgotten as we don't actually know them or see them. Unfair but true.

DD has another couple of years at primary school yet, but I'm so grateful for all that the school has done that I'm already starting to think about how we might thank them when it's time for her to leave. I will make sure that I thank the governors too! grin

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Feb-14 21:55:25

grin

Actually our HT organised a meal for all staff and governors (even cleaners, caretaker and admin staff) as a thank you for a great ofsted report.

I was nice to be remembered.

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Feb-14 21:55:34

*It

Jinsei Wed 26-Feb-14 21:58:54

Quite right too, everyone plays an important role.

I happen to think that our school caretaker is one of the nicest people I've ever met and dd assures me that he also has an exceptional talent for rescuing children from coats when their zips get stuck.

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