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To ask how important do you think ofsted results are?

(23 Posts)
NotAnotherUserName5 Tue 16-May-17 20:45:52

Considering moving, would involve taking our dcs out of 'outstanding' rated schools.

Just how much importance do you personally give an ofsted report?

Yukbuck Tue 16-May-17 20:47:56

Depends on the report. You need to look at them and see what values are important to you.
I personally don't mind a lower rating and I know a school that recently had a terrible report but the children there are very happy. In my opinion, school is only half the battle. It's what you teach them at home.

DarkFloodRises Tue 16-May-17 20:49:34

I'm a school governor for a school which is currently Good. It's been Outstanding in the past, and in my opinion it's significantly better now (but perhaps not on the measures that Ofsted uses). So it's certainly not the case that an Outstanding school is always better than a Good school IMO. I wouldn't completely ignore Ofsted though. It's worth reading the report as well as looking at the overall rating.

slightlyglitterbrained Tue 16-May-17 20:50:02

Not much for the rating. I did read them, and a negative comment on something like bullying or safeguarding is something I would pay attention to.

But we chose a Requires Improvement school over an Outstanding school because it was so clearly a happy, nurturing environment. I think you need to visit the school and see.

AliceTown Tue 16-May-17 20:53:21

Not that much. The schools here that are Outstanding are have an almost military feel to them. I much prefer the Good school that has a really healthy focus on the child's wellbeing. It's no use being perfect at tests if you fall apart from having been under pressure for too long!

felinewonderful Tue 16-May-17 20:57:02

I don't really trust Ofsted but I do put a lot of importance on the behaviour of the children and the atmosphere of the school

youaredeluded Tue 16-May-17 20:58:07

Good or Outstanding is fine... but requires improvement or in special measures? No way would my child go there. I would rather home school or find the money to private school. Why should my child get an education which is sub par? I have no idea how anyone sends their kids to these awful schools. Must be so sad to send your kids off every day knowing they are being failed by their educators.

WhooooAmI24601 Tue 16-May-17 20:58:09

I'd read them then visit the school and see how it feels in real life. I work in an Outstanding school and we are genuinely fabulous; there's a real sense of comradeship and kindness, and we're in a gorgeous tiny village with a real old-fashioned vibe. The children are happy, impeccably behaved for the most part and their learning isn't all at desks looking sad; they take control of how and where and what they learn, they're interested and excited by their topics. Despite all of that there's no way we'd get Outstanding again though (we're slightly overdue) and I'm ok with it; both DCs have been through my school and I'd have sent them there regardless of the Outstanding rating because there's so much else to show a school's merit than an Ofsted rating.

grasspigeons Tue 16-May-17 20:59:00

I'd look at when the report was made and read the report carefully to see why the result is the way it is. I don't want to say much but the good school my children go to now is substantially better than the outstanding one they were at.

LordBeefCurtain Tue 16-May-17 20:59:08

One of my children goes to an outstanding primary school, which is also in the top 250 schools in England. The other goes to a secondary school that has just been put in special measures and judged to be inadequate. Both located just one mile apart from each other!

Both children are happy and doing very well. The headteacher in the inadequate school has resigned and a 'super team' has now come in to change things round. From reading the OFSTED report, it appears they have a group of kids playing truant, being excluded, being consistently late, not turning up to exams, and using bad language - including homophobic and racist language. This is what the inspectors have focused on the most as it is dragging the whole school down. Bear in mind this is a massive academy with 270 pupils per year. Over 1300 pupils including 6th form. You are going to get some rough with the smooth in such a large school!

As long as my children are happy, I'm happy. I am definitely keeping my eye on the situation but the OFSTED report is just a snapshot.

popperdoodles Tue 16-May-17 21:00:21

All depends on what is important to you. It's part of the picture but a great ofsted is no guarantee your children will do well or be happy there. So many factors such as individual teachers, peer group, attitudes of the head and senior management, other parents attitudes etc,

BarbarianMum Tue 16-May-17 21:01:18

I wouldn't totally discount it but it would go into the mix with SATs/GCSE results and my personal impression of the school when making a decision.

lalalalyra Tue 16-May-17 21:02:46

I think they play a part of the picture, but they are never (for me) the final deciding factor.

I moved my DS this year from an Outstanding school to a school that Requires Improvement - imo a LOT has changed in the outstanding school since it's last inspection. The new HT is very ineffective and the staff turnover has soared. Whereas the RI school has gone the opposite way - new HT has made the world of difference.

I think some things in the report need more focus than others - safeguarding for example. However, going into a school gives a much better picture about how staff really are than a two/three day stress-filled environment that Ofsted see does.

PaleAzureofSummer Tue 16-May-17 21:04:42

You'd want to check it didn't say the kids were throwing food at the ofsted inspectors like that one in the news the other day. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't outstanding. Good is fine I think and obviously you'd want to find out what it was like from other sources/look round.

InDubiousBattle Tue 16-May-17 21:07:28

I would read the report but it wouldn't be even close to the main deciding factor. My sister works in a school which has gone from special measures to good whilst she's worked there, she says that the facilities are slightly better but the children do not receive a better education now they are 'good'.

soapboxqueen Tue 16-May-17 21:13:23

I pay very little attention to them. Worked that out during teacher training. When we were allocated placements we'd all scuttle off to read the ofsted report. Didn't take long to work out they weren't reflected in reality. Then spent a while doing supply in various LEAs which again highlighted for me that ofsted ratings bear no relation to the actual school.

LordBeefCurtain Tue 16-May-17 21:15:03

youaredeluded

Good or Outstanding is fine... but requires improvement or in special measures? No way would my child go there. I would rather home school or find the money to private school. Why should my child get an education which is sub par? I have no idea how anyone sends their kids to these awful schools. Must be so sad to send your kids off every day knowing they are being failed by their educators

My child goes to a currently rated inadequate school that is in special measures. We had no choice but to send him there. The only other school in our area is RC, which we are not. The Academy, which my son goes to, covers the whole area and teaches over 1300 pupils. We cannot move nor can we afford private. Nor should we have to.

Both DH and I went to our local comprehensives, which were shite by today's standards. We both got 8 GCSEs, 3 A levels and have both gone on to university. A crap school doesn't necessarily mean the child is doomed for life. If they are bright, sensible, have good parental guidance and support they can thrive. Not every child in a failing school is thick. Just as not every teacher working there is of a poor standard. I was impressed by every teacher I spoke to at the parents' evening last week.

How dare you look down your nose at those of us who have no choice but to send our poor DC to these failing schools! Maybe they'll get a broader education there and come away able to deal with all walks of life and not just the elite few. Get your head out of your arse!

lalalalyra Tue 16-May-17 21:15:47

The most important factor in deciding on a school is the HT, imo.

nicknameofawesome Tue 16-May-17 21:21:44

My kids are in a good school. I consider it far better than the outstanding one up the road as they put more focus on the children's individual skills, talents and gifts and less on SATS results.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Tue 16-May-17 21:23:30

I'm not sure if I would feel differently if I was in a different area - my child is in a school rated good I think - but I think Ofsted is crap and ignore reports. Am not that into inspections and would rather get a feel for the place and actually speak to teachers, parents and pupils myself.

I am perhaps in the minority though and of course have the luxury of knowing the local schools and nurseries are good.

Certainly don't care about the difference between good and outstanding as the goalposts move anyway so it depends when they were inspected.

LordBeefCurtain Tue 16-May-17 21:26:08

lalalalyra I agree with you there. My son's school's latest inadequate OFSTED rating certainly boiled down to the HT and the staff having no confidence in him. There was a series of strikes over the T&CS he was trying to impose. He has since resigned after a vote of no confidence and a new HT is now in place. I can only see things improving from here on in.

Reading between the lines, the old HT used to bring in all these new initiatives with a load of fanfare but never evaluated whether they were effective. All fur coat and no knickers!!!

MrsHathaway Tue 16-May-17 21:27:18

A certain amount of Ofsted grading is hoop jumping, particularly for the headline scores. The narrative is quite telling sometimes.

Our brilliant preschool had only one criticism in its most recent report, to do with how enriching the outdoor environment is. That meant they dropped a score in that category which meant they couldn't be outstanding overall.

It's not their garden: it's part of the school on the same site. They can't control the contents of the environment there.

If a school was "bad" because of recent safeguarding failures then you'd run a mile. If the report was a year old and criticised staff who had since been replaced then you'd keep the school on the list.

It's a snapshot of how a school measures against a particular list of variables. It does not describe the entirety of a school experience.

JuicyStrawberry Tue 16-May-17 21:35:51

When I was applying for school for my eldest, there was a "Good" school and an "Outstanding" school nearby. I picked the school with the Good report mainly because he went to the nursery there and thrived whilst there. The other school may have got an Outstanding but I didn't want him to go there. Plus it is a Catholic one and I didn't want ds to go to a Catholic school.
I wouldn't just automatically go for a school just because it has an Outstanding OFSTED report. Some "Good" schools are outstanding too.

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