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Outstanding Ofsted can still be a crap school!

(73 Posts)
Doodlez Sat 24-Sep-11 23:26:28

Tell me if this sounds right - Ofsted mark a school on about 27 different catagories and a school can achieve 'outstanding' status, even if, for example, the teaching catagory gets a crap mark?

So, when looking for schools for your children, the Ofsted overall finding is worth rat shit on it's own...

The school in special measures might have outstanding teachers but the temptation would be to dismiss it - yes?

belledechocchipcookie Sat 24-Sep-11 23:27:50

Yup, spot on. You're better off ignoring it and asking the parents if their children are happy.

lemonbalm Sat 24-Sep-11 23:29:10

Yes, it's galling when you know a school is crap - or has significant problems - and it gets an Outstanding anyway.

carpwidow Sat 24-Sep-11 23:32:27

If the teaching and learning category is crap, a school will never get an outstanding. lemonbalm you can't name a school on here, but what aspects of this "outstanding" school are crap/what are the significant problems? I am really surprised by this post as to get "outstanding", schools have to score high in all categories.

Clary Sat 24-Sep-11 23:33:17

Erm no I am not an Ofsted expert, but I would be very surprised if that were so OP.

The teaching in any school (thank goodness) is actually a critical factor. If it were crap (so, unsatisfactory) then there is no way the school would be "outstanding".

Some things are described as "limiting judgements"; so for example at a secondary school, maths and science lessons might be limiting judgements, so if they were only graded satisfactory, the school as a whole could not do better than satisfactory, even if everything else (eg pastoral care, student behaviour, teaching in other faculties etc) were good or outstanding.

Are you talking about a particular school? If you are you can look up the detailed Ofsted report (and I would do so). I woudl not personally dismiss a school because of spec measures, but I would want to know what was being done (usually lots, new head etc) about the specific issues.

I am no Ofsted apologist and all my children go to "satisfactory" schools when there are good and outstanding ones locally; but I think the report, especially if recent, has some value, taken in conjunction with many other factors.

belledechocchipcookie Sat 24-Sep-11 23:33:20

Ds's old school had an 'outstanding,' they even commented on the nutritious food. confused All ds used to get to eat was cold, dry pasta with chicken nuggets (no salad/veg), inedible fish pie... It means nothing.

carpwidow Sat 24-Sep-11 23:33:31

.. and OFSTED will look and results and pupil progression. They will not give outstanding if these aren't good. And if a school is "crap", pupils will not make sufficient progress.

Clary Sat 24-Sep-11 23:40:38

Was the teaching crap tho Belle?

carpwidow Sat 24-Sep-11 23:43:25

OP - can you please private message me a link to the OFSTED report? I am shocked that a school has got an outstanding where they have been graded unsatisfactory for their teaching category. I'm intrigued and would really like to read the report.

carpwidow Sat 24-Sep-11 23:45:21

Did you eat a school meal yourself belledechocchipcookie?

Doodlez Sat 24-Sep-11 23:46:36

Carp - it's hypothetical.

My op was based on a discussion with friends earlier today. I listened and gleaned my OP. I kept my mouth shut during the discussion because I didn't know my facts.

As always when I don't know my facts - I check them on MN!grin

Clary Sat 24-Sep-11 23:51:04

Ah well if it's hypothetical that makes a lot more sense.

Then the answer to your OP question is no.

carpwidow Sat 24-Sep-11 23:51:17

I wish you were my friend in RL Doodlez - you sound lovely. I wish more people would keep their mouths shut when they don't know the facts. If teaching is graded "unsatisfactory" then children will not make sufficient progress, therefore the school will not be graded outstanding overall. I will give 10 housepoints as a reward to anyone who can find me an OFSTED report where a grade of "unsatisfactory" has been given, but the school has got outstanding overall. The challenge is on....

belledechocchipcookie Sun 25-Sep-11 00:12:15

The teaching was OK. I did eat the school meals, I spent a week in the school helping them with the costumes for the play. The food was horrid.

carpwidow Sun 25-Sep-11 00:15:12

Dry, cold pasta is certainly not my idea of outstanding food belle Yuk smile

belledechocchipcookie Sun 25-Sep-11 00:18:59

It was bloody horrible. My son started to grow after he left hmm

Feenie Sun 25-Sep-11 00:19:58

School dinners are not a limiting judgement - unfortunately smile

belledechocchipcookie Sun 25-Sep-11 00:23:43

They get a snapshot of the school, it's not necessarily the right snapshot. I'm off to bed, night. smile

Yourefired Sun 25-Sep-11 00:32:50

Here's my take you can have an outstanding school as deemed by OFTED, and it will be a great school. But you can't control for the children in your class, or the parents of these children. So a school can do everything right but it can still be a crap school given what they have to deal with.

dikkertjedap Sun 25-Sep-11 09:27:22

Totally agree. DD's first school was outstanding. For the inspection they got extra people in pretending to be TAs, whole school was painted, everyone was told to be on best behaviour, some resources are only taken out the cupboards for the inspections so they are still brand new .... It was an awful school, teaching was very poor. Now switched to another outstanding school, which truly is outstanding.

noblegiraffe Sun 25-Sep-11 10:47:47

This is Gove's new thing, schools being rated outstanding where teaching and learning isn't outstanding.

I don't think you could get an outstanding if teaching and progress wasn't good.

HarrietJones Sun 25-Sep-11 10:58:51

I regularly visit schools as part of my job. There are outstanding schools I wouldn't send my children too and 'failing' schools that I really like. Schools dress up so much for OFSTEd that the snapshot they see isn't always very accurate.

OFSTEd also have different standards to parents on things such as pastoral care which is something I rate very highly but not very significant in OFSTEd terms.

yellowsubmarine41 Sun 25-Sep-11 11:12:57

The Ofsted framework is being rewritten (again). It will focus more on SATS results and individual pupil progression (as measured by levels and sub levels). Some very good schools do progress their students very well. Other purportedly good schools are very good at manipulating numbers to 'demonstrate' that progress has been good.

As far as I can tell, the inspectors use these grades to decide if the teaching is outstanding/satisfactory etc, then bulk out their narrative that forms the report around it.

So, yes a school in special measures may have outstanding teachers, but they probably wouldn't be called that on the report as the inspectors would have to justify their special measures ie that a school needs intervention to be satisfactory.

Santac Sun 25-Sep-11 11:14:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Santac Sun 25-Sep-11 11:14:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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