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What's the current deal with Inadequate Ofsted ratings?

(10 Posts)
WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 15-Mar-14 18:50:09

DD's school's Ofsted is out finally. Knew it would be bad as long delay and was alerted by text from another parent saying how shocked she is and how it doesn't reflect her son's experience. Had a look and it has come out as having a 4, Inadequate.

I read something on here before about enforced change to Academies for failing schools, is that what is currently happening or has it all changed again? I feel quite gutted for the school really. They've taken my shy, quiet DD who was bullied at previous school and given her confidence and we've seen her grades improve hugely. Really wanted them to come out well in Ofsted.

Puttheshelvesup Sat 15-Mar-14 22:20:18

My ds's school got 'inadequate' 15 months ago, and was put into 'special measures'. The school has formulated an action plan along with the LA and the governors, and has been given a mentor school, that scores 'outstanding', to aid in the training of staff. Ofstead performs interim inspections every 8 weeks (ish) to make sure the action plan is being adhered to. After 18 months there will be a full review, and if the school has not improved as expected then an academy set up will be considered.

The staff and governors were really restructured, and a lot of support has been given to the school, so i'm confident that it will be rated 'good' by the time the final review is conducted. You should have most of this explained to you in a meeting with parents, staff, governors and a representative of the LA.


WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 16-Mar-14 07:57:22

That"s really helpful, thanks. Ofsted just published Friday so guess we'll hear from school on Monday. It did say in Ofsted that they are already being mentored by a local outstanding rated school and the Leadership got a 3 so I think that means they aren't in Special Measures but guess there will be the frequent visits.

Feel really sorry for the teachers, this just doesn't reflect the experience my daughter and friends' children have at school but it is what it is. Am also pissed off as friend's son's friend was quite upset after being interviewed by Ofsted as they were quite aggressive saying 'your teachers don't teach you well do they '. Not good for the morale of the students as well as staff, especially those sitting GCSE/AS/A levels shortly - the majority of the school as it an Upper school.

prh47bridge Sun 16-Mar-14 08:40:47

If the school is being placed in special measures the report would say so. It would be highlighted right at the top of the report in the "summary of key findings for parents and pupils" section.

Parents of the pupils affected should complain to Ofsted if they felt the inspectors were overly aggressive.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 16-Mar-14 09:27:52

It is 'This is a school that has serious weaknesses' now I've looked properly. Suspect there will be some letters going off to Ofsted once it's generally known how bad the report is.

Guess it's not the end of the world but you know how it is when you feel your child has really benefitted from something and you want the teachers to get recognition for what they have done. It's just a bit upsetting at first. Ironically there was a group of us saying the other day how we felt lucky our children are there and not at the other Upper school.

At least they did recognise the good relationship between staff and pupils, the strength of its pastoral care and the safe environment the school provides. Seems there has been a problem with the English dept for some time but there's a new Head of English appointed and it says new strategies are in place. Getting over the initial shock of reading the report and hope with support this can be turned round and the school can move on.

It's a very mixed catchment area with a pockets of parental apathy. When DD started only 3 out of 8/9 parents of children in her class bothered to turn up and meet the tutor. It also has the more able children going off to Grammar durng Middle School. I think it's important the Head knows there are parents behind him, a few of us will be emailing our support. Guess it has flagged up that I can't fully trust the school to ensure DD makes the progress she could so I shall keep a veryclose eye on what's happening.

niminypiminy Mon 17-Mar-14 09:08:20

The school is bound to come under some pressure to become a sponsored academy, because this is the DfE's preferred solution to underperforming schools. It will be up to the governing body to deal with this. In my experience it is almost inevitable that an academies broker will visit and try to get the governors to agree to convert. But it can be resisted if the governors don't want to go down that road, and if the LA is supporting the school. If the school got 3 for leadership and governance this is a good sign, and if the LA is prepared to put in support for the school it can make rapid improvements.

The head and governors should be informing parents very soon about the plan they have formulated to address Ofsted's criticisms of the school, and this plan should have a timetable for actions and what should be achieved. When this happened to the school I'm a governor at the LA and the school's senior management team had drawn up an improvement plan within a few weeks of the report being made available to the Head (which will have happened a little while before it was published). We are currently a year into the plan and have had two monitoring visits from HMI and are looking at another full inspection in June (happy days!). If we can make it to Requiring Improvement or (God willing) Good we will be out of trouble. If not we will be an academy before you can say Jack Robinson.

The stakes are very high indeed and it is really difficult for a school in this position. Everybody is under intense scrutiny and stress levels are sky-high. Support from parents is really important both for the head and for the teachers -- as we know from our own children, if we tell them they are failing, it will tend to make them give up, no? -- and practical help like volunteering to hear children read, join the governing body, support the PTA is now more greatly appreciated than ever.

Tanith Mon 17-Mar-14 10:49:29

I think your friend should notify the school and complain to Ofsted in the strongest terms regarding the way they interviewed her son.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 17-Mar-14 12:36:29

Unfortunately it is a friend's son's friend. Don't think friend knows parent or would encourage them to complain. I have emailed Ofsted asking for clarification of certain points of how data derived as it is an Upper School and lacking years 7 and 8 so comparisons to schools with those years present will be skewed on issues such as attendance and exclusions. Also it is minus the top achieving pupils who go to two local Grammar schools and has a higher number of pupils with SEN than average because of the pastoral care so the distribution of abilities will be different.

The school has very little disruption in lessons, certainly compared to our other local upper school. A clear behavioural policy is applied but now they have been slated for high number of internal and external inclusions. They will be higher anyway I suspect, again due to lack of younger years.

I copied the school in and have emailed the Head our support, friends are doing similar. That's really helpful Niminy, thank you. Email out now, there's a meeting tomorrow night so we'll hear more. I just feel very upset on behalf of the school as I don't feel it is justified. Fingers crossed for your next inspection.

There seems to be a fair bit about Ofsted in today's press. I am now officially totally and utterly pissed off with what has happened to our education system and feeling really bloody militant right now <and breath>

Nocomet Mon 17-Mar-14 12:58:27

As a result of SM our secondary school has a new acting (and I hope permanent HT) and a new chair of governors.

I feel sorry for the old head who I really liked, but not for certain department heads have had a well deserved kick up the arse..

But as far as the DDs are concerned it's been pretty much business as usual, bar DD1 crossing her fingers tight they didn't give the SENCO a nervous break down.

In 13 months school is back to Good, but we have lost numbers which is a real financial headache (expensive rural housing means a lot of family's can either afford private/transport to Grammars or have been forced into local towns) so school had places already.

As for the SENCO she's still with us grin, DD1 is dyslexic and has a real soft spot for her. DD1 would insist she had a cup of tea before doing English skills with her.

Senco was new and not responsible for the results Ofsted were moaning about, but of course she got the fallout.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 18-Mar-14 22:09:38

Well just back from the meeting. DH and I are appalled by the whole thing. The Head is putting in a formal complaint to Ofsted and quite rightly so. They have done things such as use incorrect data and had to be told it is an Upper School, not Secondary. A meeting at the end with Head and Govenors was minuted and what Ofsted said and what went in the report differed vastly. Data was compared with another local school who came out outstanding in their report versus the inadequate rating our school had and it was strikingly similar. Lots more.

The hall was pretty crowded and we are all behind the Head and Govenors and want to complain collectively as parents to Ofsted. The report bears no resemblance to the school we know. The Head was honest about the bits that need improving but had already highlighted this and fed back to the parent focus groups.

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