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OFSTED!!! what do the different ratings actually mean?

(50 Posts)

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BarefootDancer Thu 21-Jun-07 21:42:25

Is there something worse than satisfactory.
Does it not just mean what it says?

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MintyDixCharrington Thu 21-Jun-07 21:45:26

worse than satisfactory is failing I think

I wouldn't be too pleased with a satisfactory. Sounds pretty crappy to me

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AttilaTheMum Thu 21-Jun-07 22:11:30

Thing is you can get a 'satisfactory' simply because not all the last set of children achieved their targets in the SATs, despite the inspectors accepting the reasons for this - it happened in the school I work at. The provision for SEN & the spiritual & moral welfare were outstanding, and the teaching was good, but the 'satisfactory' in the progress - which was based on one year group meant the school couldn't get higher than satisfactory overall. The report accepted that all the issues raised by the previous year's results had been addresssed, and the children who were actually working towards their SATs that May (the inspection was in February) had excellent results - but it was too late for the report....
So I really wouldn't go by just the overall grade - you have to look deeper than that.

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charliecat Thu 21-Jun-07 22:17:32

Well, I used to work for a crap nursery that had all the right papers and policys in place that got an outstanding.
Could be an excellent school that doesnt jump through the Ofsted hoops.

rarrie Thu 21-Jun-07 22:50:22

The ofsted report will explain the reasons for their decisions... read the full report on www.ofsted.gov.uk.

Unless there was a good reason for a satisfactory, I wouldn't be that happy with it though, because really a good is the norm - but having said that, it also depends what scale they are using - it used to be out of 7 different points, but that has now been reduced to less options, which changes things.

Lilymaid Thu 21-Jun-07 22:53:43

From my jaundiced experience:
Outstanding - OK for your DCs
Very Good - OK for your DCs but don't expect the earth
Good - watch out!
Satisfactory - look elsewhere if possible
Special Measures - Help!

AttilaTheMum Thu 21-Jun-07 23:11:50

Also the new reports are nearly all based on paperwork - although they gave a grade to the teaching, it couldn't possibly have been based on observation - they didn't observe any complete lesson at all and didn't stay in any lesson longer than 20 minutes.

And btw they don't have 'very good' any more - the grades are

Grade 1 Outstanding
Grade 2 Good
Grade 3 Satisfactory
Grade 4 Inadequate

Clary Fri 22-Jun-07 00:51:34

lol at good being "the norm"

What is that supposed to mean? How could it possible be true?

All the schools in the immediate (very middle class) area we live in god satisfactory when inspected a couple of years ago.

That's including our highly rated school where the pupils do very well, are very polite etc etc.
There were reasons for our satisfactory, as much as the others' no doubt. Can hardly be true that good is the norm tho.

tmmj if you are unhappy with your school, then by all means act. Please don't base any action solely on an Ofsted report tho.

Attila is right about the grades. There are only 4 now.

twinsetandpearls Fri 22-Jun-07 01:13:18

Oftsed admitted that satisfactory does not actaually mean satisfactory - if that makes sense. It means just about scraping by.

roisin Fri 22-Jun-07 17:39:41

At the end of the report there will be a summary of different grades for all the different areas: this is important.

This will give you an idea as to whether they just scraped through and avoided failing, or whether they narrowly missed out on a 2.

Ofsted have all sorts of rules as to what overall grade you can get.

So, for example, I think if you get 4:unsatisfactory in any one area you can't get 2:good overall no matter what the other grades are.

The school I work at very recently managed to get "satisfactory" (only just). I wouldn't send my children there.

bobbysmum07 Fri 22-Jun-07 21:37:36

"Oftsed admitted that satisfactory does not actaually mean satisfactory - if that makes sense. It means just about scraping by."


I don't think that's true. Until recently, a nursery or school was marked either unsatisfactory, satisfactory or good. Getting 'Good' then was as hard as getting 'Outstanding' now (and very very few nurseries or schools get 'Outstanding' - except State or council-run ones, which says a lot about the politics behind the whole thing).

It takes up to four years for an Ofsted inspection to come around, which means that the majority of nurseries and schools judged 'Satisfactory' have not been inspected since it was possible to get 'Outstanding'.

Also, all Ofsted inspectors have their own ideas about what's good and what isn't. An Ofsted report does not always give an accurate reflection.

rarrie Fri 22-Jun-07 23:59:03

Bobby's mum, I think the ratings for nurseries are very different to schools. I get the impression that you are coming from a nursery perspective, and that is very different from the judgements made on a school.

Previously, schools used to have 'Very Good' but nurseries (I think) did not. Then, getting a very good was considered quite good, and outstanding was very hard to get. The schools I have taught in have always got this category in the past. Now that category has gone, more schools are getting both good and outstanding. Where I would have been cautious of a good in the past, now I would be more open to a 'good' school because I know how difficult it is to get an outstanding.

I do agree that a satisfactory means that it is not very satisfactory - as I said before, really you are looking for a good or better.

twinsetandpearls Sat 23-Jun-07 18:53:28

I just know in teaching if you are rated satisfactor you have been far from that an dit means something has gone wrong.

I would never be happy with satisfactory.

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Twinklemegan Wed 04-Jul-07 00:11:41

My DS's excellent nursery got an excellent write up but a Very Good score. They fell down on not doing enough to teach about inclusiveness and diversity which I must say isn't no. 1 on my list of priorities for my 11 month old.

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kiskidee Wed 04-Jul-07 00:14:36

schools can have 1 HT and 2 or 3 dep. heads and it doesn't mean you have a shit HT.

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katelyle Wed 04-Jul-07 06:11:20

I am puzzled by these Ofsted ratings. Our school got an overall 3 - "satisfactory". It's a very socially diverse school with a lot of quite difficult pupils and a higher than average level of free school meals. And yes, there are a lot of things wrong with the school. Expectations are not as high as they should be, there have been management and personnel issues that the Head has failed to address, BUT there doesn't seem to have been any credit given for all the stuff the school does brilliantly-for example, 420 pupils, very few disciplinary problems, excellent behaviour, excellent attendance, Eco School status (mainly because of the enthusiasm of the children), brilliant music, a lovely, buzzy atmosphere - lots of stuff. The inspectors just don't seem to have seen this - and talked a lot about performance tracking and record keeping, which are admitted faults.

sarahhal Wed 04-Jul-07 06:37:17

Unfortunately much of OFSTED is now a data exercise. The school will have completed a self evaluation form stating how they think they are doing and how they would grade themselves. When OFSTED come in they are looking for evidence that these judgments are correct. One of the key areas which they seem to spend most time on is pupil performance which they will judge on the paperwork they see, not on what they see in the classroom. If pupil performance is deemed satisfactory then teaching and learning can only be satisfactory and if teaching and learning is only satisfactory then leadership can only be satisfactory so the overall outcome will end up satisfactory. Great.

Sorry. Long winded rant. You can't just guess we've been through it can you

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