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Al Madinah school ofsted report

(94 Posts)
hillian Thu 17-Oct-13 08:45:39

Has anyone seen this report? It says they don't even know who is disabled or which children aren't in school on a particular day!

figroll Thu 17-Oct-13 17:50:23

These children have already wasted 12 months and presumably will waste more time whilst the school attempts to improve. I am thankful that my children have both left school as the constant political and ideological meddling from politicians has now taken a turn for the worse. Politics (and in my own opinion, religion) should be kept out of schools. It's just wrong on all counts. Gove is just trying to make his mark and leave a legacy: goodness knows what he is going to be remembered for. The dismantling of education as we know it.

ShadeofViolet Thu 17-Oct-13 17:53:11

not a good day for free schools

You wouldn't want an unqualified person performing an operation on you, so why would you want one teaching your child?

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 17:55:50

This makes me angry: David Laws in parliament claims concerns were raised in the summer. But it was visited by the DfE in November 2012. The governors, untrained staff and dysfunction has been going on since it opened. At the DfE they have been trying to cover it up and avoiding responsibility. Gove is 'abroad'. They haven't even commented on Discovery New School in special measures.

aroomofherown Thu 17-Oct-13 17:58:40

Because apparently there is no skill or knowledge of pedagogy required to teach, unlike a knowledge of anatomy for surgery.

Anyone can do it, and do it well, non?

Gah I'm just so fed up with the Gove-enment's constant degradation of teachers, when stories like this prove just how bad things could be without training and expertise.

figroll Thu 17-Oct-13 18:02:21

I am sick of hearing how teachers go home at 3 and have 14 weeks holiday. If it's so easy, why aren't they queuing up at the door to be teachers. It's an incredibly difficult job And I have admired the commitment shown by staff at my children's schools over the years. I took it for granted that they were all qualified.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 18:32:13

> think some parents with children at this school must have had their eyes off the ball BIG TIME if all this was going on under their noses and they didn't realise.

I heard a couple being interviewed, they seemed happy with the school. Heretical idea, but maybe parents aren't necessarily the best people to judge educational standards.

Talkinpeace Thu 17-Oct-13 18:54:00

Most of the parents at that school did not WANT a UK education : that is why they set it up.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 19:12:46

>Most of the parents at that school did not WANT a UK education : that is why they set it up

Which was not fair on their children, most/all of whom are UK citizens.

Still, glad to see that evidently 'free schools' don't have a carte blanche to ignore basic educational standards - to some extent he who pays the piper does call the tune.

merrymouse Thu 17-Oct-13 19:29:09

I think a lot of people can educate without qualifications in the same way that you can be a good gardener with no horticultural training and you can open a new shop without retail training and be a good cook with no catering training. However, you would not be able to run kew gardens or a branch of John lewis or a chain of restaurants.

It's one thing being open minded about education, quite another not having the checks in place to know whether what is being provided is fit for purpose/meets basic standards.

Hamwidgeandcheps Thu 17-Oct-13 19:38:22

Are we massively surprised though? This will probably come across as prejudiced but here goes....really what did we expect faith schools to be like?
In the mean time it's so insulting- the uk has an amazing state school system - not perfect but still probably one of the best in the world and yet out government is busily thieving our money away to, frankly fundamentalists and allowing whole communities to opt out of the school system - and paying them for the privilege.

alemci Thu 17-Oct-13 19:47:31

c of e schools are not like this. they are inclusive and follow the curriculum as do other religious schools such as a Sikh school in the area

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 19:48:19

Some people think they can teach without ever having having set foot in a classroom. Some people think they can learn a language in their sleep. They're wrong. It takes practice and support. That's why you get teaching practice on teacher training courses and supervision as a newly qualified teacher. That's why Annaliese Briggs gave up after four weeks.

Hamwidgeandcheps Thu 17-Oct-13 19:53:06

Alemci - yeh I agree - I didn't want to single out Islamic schools and sound really prejudiced but mostly that's what I meant hmm

alemci Thu 17-Oct-13 19:56:39

tricky but often the c of e ones include other faiths. in theory does this school offer this?

caroldecker Thu 17-Oct-13 19:59:43

Most independent schools have non-qualified teachers. It is how they are managed/supported that matters, not the letters after their name.
Agree this is appalling, but there are many local authority schools which are failing/in special measures.
You cannot judge either free schools or faith schools on 1 example.

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:03:55

The Discovery Free School (also in special measures) 'has a Christian character in the Anglican tradition (Church of England)'. But it is not supported/sponsored by a Christian diocese, or more importantly an education service which obviously has expertise in running schools and its own inspectors. Neither is Al-Madinah.

MortaIWombat Thu 17-Oct-13 20:17:35

I'd be very interested to see the stats on the percentage of independent schools employing non-qualified teachers, carol

Certainly not the case in the four schools at which I've taught, or the ones at which my PGCE peers teach/have taught.

eggyweggies Thu 17-Oct-13 20:20:49

Great post, merrymouse

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:21:22

It is not supported by a local authority either, also with a big support service and inspectors - who also support the vast majority of CofE and RC schools because they are maintained schools.

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:25:27

Some of the unqualified teachers in independent schools have teacher training qualifications - just not a degree, especially at primary level if they are aged 55 or over.

caroldecker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:29:30


No stats on independent schools, sorry but article here suggests it's common.

Interestingly the current govt has reduced the number of unqualified teachers in local authority schools here

alemci Thu 17-Oct-13 20:30:46

True Straggle about private schools. I looked at the christian school and it seem quite inclusive and to me the ethos seemed quite sound.

i agree they need to have the same inspectors as the state schools if they are funded by government money. slightly different in the private sector

there was a shocking article about one teacher who worked in the al-madinah school who was British and was criticised for not dressing modestly enough.

Does this school have a website or has it been shut down?

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:41:13

caroldecker I found the same article as you trying to find stats! But it says 'although ... the majority of new teachers enter the independent sector with QTS, as recently trained newly qualified teachers (NQTs), some schools employ up to five non-QTS teachers at a time'. Five wouldn't be a lot in a teaching staff of 40. The reason many of those with QTS are not technically qualified to switch to a state school is because independent schools do not offer a formal probationary year after their initial teacher training. Unlike at Al-Madinah they have spent time in a classroom though.

But the 'number of qualified teachers reducing' was analysed by fullfact:

'While it's true to say that teacher numbers have dropped since 2010, there isn't enough evidence to show that the number of qualified teachers has decreased. In fact, the School Workforce data suggests that the proportion of teachers considered 'qualified' has increased.'

straggle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:46:27

alemci the 'Christian ethos school' is another free school in special measures that follows a Montessori method. Another experiment. Ofsted report here.

Discolite Thu 17-Oct-13 20:47:53

Free schools are a disaster. At their worst they provide school places in areas that already have a surplus, wasting public money. They can be housed in totally unsuitable premises, employ people who are not teachers and have no relevant experience (see the Pimlico free school head - a 27 year old with no teaching experience is a fit person to be a teacher?!), they can cost millions to set up...

The things that really caught my eye was that the Al Madinah school had no real idea about which pupils had SEN, never mind do anything to cater for them. Its accounts were in chaos - it didn't even know if it was carrying forward a surplus or a deficit - don't forget this is public money! And it seems like it had no clue which pupils were in school on any given day, making issues like safeguarding very difficult.

But yes Mr Gove, anyone can set up and run a school! I'd be jubilant over yet another policy falling on its arse but unfortunately it seems 412 children were not educated properly and even worse, put at risk because of Tory free market principles.

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