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AIBU to think OFSTED and the local authority pulled a fast one?

(24 Posts)
Preschoolprimadonna Tue 17-Jan-17 18:22:32

Name changed for this, as potentially identifying the area we're from.

So the local school to us is an Academy and it's "straight through" from Nursery, right up to age 18. It was previously a secondary school in a rough area (before conversion to Academy and relocation of the building) and has a poor reputation as a secondary.

However the primary provision was brand new (a few years old now), and the primary school part of it had a very good reputation locally.

It's just had it's first OFSTED as a through school (including primary). Overall the academy has come back as Inadequate with the primary provision graded as Requires Improvement with some serious concerns about pupils' attainment and quality of teaching (though the facilities are lauded).

The AIBU... the report was released one hour after the application for this year's school places closed. So a lot of local parents who put this school first (ahead of a brand new school that's opening up but is obviously untested) didn't have this vital information.

They are unable to change their choices in the light of this information (which is genuinely damning and includes issues such as not tracking where funds have been spent).

Do you think it's genuinely bad luck and timing, or do you think there's conspiracy behind the scenes?

TenaciousOne Tue 17-Jan-17 18:25:04

It's a case of bad luck unfortunately. Did you visit the school? If so what were you feelings about it based on that?

LatteLady Tue 17-Jan-17 18:25:32

It's bad luck. Ofsted do the publishing, the LA have no influence. There will have been a tranche of reports released at the same time.

Preschoolprimadonna Tue 17-Jan-17 18:29:33

I thought the facilities were great but the headteacher seemed like he didn't like children very much, and he also came across as sexist and patronising to me. Interesting that different expectations for boys and girls is one of the areas that the school has been criticised for.

We put the school down third on our list of four choices; I am hopeful we will get our second choice, which is the new school. (First choice is a massively oversubscribed outstanding village school out of catchment that I would probably die of shock if we got into.)

Good to know there's likely no conspiracy afoot - but a shame it couldn't have been better coordinated with the local authority.

tramstray Tue 17-Jan-17 18:32:38

It sounds very much like when the Labour spin doctor Jo Moore said on the afternoon of 11th September 2001 that "It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury." Perhaps it was a coincidence and there was no ulterior motive, but then perhaps if I throw a thousand 1p coins out of the window they will all land with the Queen face up in a neat row in order of the year they were minted.

Is there anything you can do - probably not. On the plus side, perhaps they will use this as a wake-up call, perhaps they were being complacent and needed a kick up the arse.

stella23 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:37:03

Of course it was planned, far to much of a coincidence. The government are desperate for academies to work and be profitable. They need buns on seats

Preschoolprimadonna Tue 17-Jan-17 18:42:38

I would LOVE buns on seats. Yum! grin

TenaciousOne Tue 17-Jan-17 19:09:34

I doubt it Stella. DS's nursery result was released at the same time as a bunch of other ones all at really inconvenient times. A secondary school that I was keeping an eye on had its failing results released on about 20th Jan a few years ago. Not an academy. They take months to release the details as well.

INeedToEat Tue 17-Jan-17 19:31:30

LA's have no influence over when OFSTED releases it's reports.

However, when it was released was it via the OFSTED site or the school?

Preschoolprimadonna Tue 17-Jan-17 19:41:20

I saw it when it was put on the school's website. I don't know how I would find out when Ofsted published it. Good point though.

unfortunateevents Tue 17-Jan-17 19:44:48

If you look on the OFSTED website it will give you the date that it was published on the website. It used to be a couple of weeks after the inspection, unless there were areas of disagreement. Don't know if that is still the case.

INeedToEat Tue 17-Jan-17 19:54:54

Just type OFSTED reports into Google. At the bottom you can search for reports via 'location'. It will show the date it was published. Let us know how long the school took to put it up on their site !!

Preschoolprimadonna Tue 17-Jan-17 19:58:36

Aha - thank you.

It was indeed published yesterday, so hasn't been sat on by the school for too long. I suspect the timing that OFSTED published (I don't know, but I imagine first thing) and the time the school chose to publish it (just after the applications deadline) may have been significant.

Unless I just have a very suspicious mind.

INeedToEat Tue 17-Jan-17 19:59:00

We were inspected mid December. Report on the site 16th Jan. Although that was an interim inspection and not a full one.. and very unusually it didn't come to us first (usually we would receive it a week or so before publication).

INeedToEat Tue 17-Jan-17 20:00:50

School would have received it a week or so ago.

PurpleMinionMummy Tue 17-Jan-17 20:06:20

I don't thonk Ofsted care or are involved enough to purposefully hold up reports.

MonanaGeller Tue 17-Jan-17 20:27:05

What would Ofsted gain by colluding with a substandard academy in order to increase their primary applications?

Maybe I'm very naive, but surely if there was some sort of conspiracy to trick people into making primary applications without full knowledge of the extant issues it would have been just as easy (and more effective) to disguise/downplay the negative aspects of the review?

unfortunateevents Tue 17-Jan-17 20:34:22

I think you just have a suspicious mind! grin

lougle Tue 17-Jan-17 20:41:16

The school receive it earlier than it is published (so they can challenge inaccuracies, etc.), but they are told when they must publish it.

Niskayuna Tue 17-Jan-17 20:54:27

It has a poor reputation as a secondary and it's an academy (bleh.)

Both would have made me cross it off the list. Now the report's out and... it deserves the reputation and is still an Academy.

Doesn't seem much of a mystery. People put it on the list with their eyes open. At worst they'd have had their current opinion confirmed, at best they'd have gotten a nice surprise if they'd had a better result.

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Tue 17-Jan-17 20:54:50

If you found out about it via the school website then they've had it for a while before publishing it. OFSTED are not in cahoots with failing schools, far from it. It will of course, however, be of huge significance to the school itself that it came out after the place applications were admitted. If it had gone on the school website the day before the deadline presumably quite a number of parents would not have put this school on their forms and low take up of places would affect their funding obviously. I imagine after allocation of places lots of parents will be appealing. There is a failing academy near me that has form for this kind of lying by omission, more than one OFSTED report and even a DfE notice only made public when it suited them and almost two years worth of GB meeting minutes (to cover the period of time the school has been failing) still not published on their website.

Barbie222 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:02:02

I don't think the school has much influence over when the report's published, apart from in very exceptional cases where they are legitimately challenging the outcome. The school will have known for a couple of weeks, and kept an effective three line whip on this info!!!

Earslaps Tue 17-Jan-17 21:30:34

Our school had it the other way last year- it was Requires Improvement but got a Good (with lots of Outstanding elements) three days after the application deadline.

Preschoolprimadonna Tue 17-Jan-17 21:41:06

Thanks all. As I mentioned, whilst the secondary has a poor reputation, the primary part was highly regarded.

It wasn't high up our list because it's a faith school (CofE), and I didn't like the head, but it's one of only two schools that are walking distance and the other doesn't open until September.

Out of interest, why the antipathy towards academies? We don't have much choice around here.

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