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Posted on In The News but being ignored. Any opinions?

(11 Posts)
OrmIrian Fri 12-Jun-09 14:48:14

It will almost certainly impact on DS#1's school. A truly amazing place. Big VA score. It does great things with an intake incl many pupils that come in from primary with level 3 in SATS (and below). But it's GCSEs results are not that good although improving. It currently has an outstanding rating - well deserved according to most of the parents and pupils.

What is the point of this change? League tables will tell parents the results. Ofsted is supposed to do more and in greater depth.

Hulababy Fri 12-Jun-09 15:01:02

"new emphasis on raw exam results would make things harder for schools in deprived areas. "

- that doesn't sound great and I don't like the idea of this at all.

"schools that succeed will probably face an Ofsted inspection every five years instead of three - unless parents demand an earlier one. "

Sounds fair. Not sure about the parents demanding bit; depends on how done.

"greater focus on those judged satisfactory or inadequate. "


"Most schools will have just one or two days' notice of an inspection visit. "

Seems fair TBH. See the school "as it is" - although the inspection criteria should also reflect this.

"greater emphasis too on the views of parents and pupils"

Again, a good thing to include

"double the amount of time we spend in classrooms observing teaching. We will engage staff in discussion about ways of improving"

They do spend very little time in their at present; not enough to make decent judgements generally. Stressful for staff though. How wellt he discussion wrks will depend on who s involved and how gone about

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 12-Jun-09 15:13:25

I guess it's to try to close the expectation gap. I think what they are getting at is that is a school has very low GCSE results it doesn't seem quite right to describe it as outstanding, as the children with the low GCSE results are still leaving school with a huge disadvantage. I can see the point - people should always aim to produce the best possible rather than "good enough for children with these backgrounds" or whatever.

Equally they need to take into account that not all children have the same starts/advantages as obviously that will have an effect.

It's a difficult balance i guess but I think I can see what they're trying to do.

mimsum Fri 12-Jun-09 15:46:53

Currently a lot of schools are deemed "outstanding" when judged by many criteria they are at best OK. One of the secondary schools in this area is allegedly outstanding and yet the behaviour in y7 classes is so appalling that the children who want to work find it impossible to get much done. It doesn't get particularly great results, yet it is improving and has a very difficult cohort of pupils to deal with.

Hulababy Fri 12-Jun-09 16:33:52

Value Added is often a better indicator for some schools. However for good high achieving schools VA doesn't always truely reflect what is going on either. I think OFSTED should actually look at what is happening rather than relying on figures.

OrmIrian Fri 12-Jun-09 17:39:16

At Ds'school it is likely that he will do very well. He had level 5s in his SATS and the teaching is good. I think it very hard to penalise a school who happen to have a very low intake. When they have turned themselves round so dramatically in the last 5 years. It means that yet again schools in more affluent areas will gain and enhance their reputation at the expense of those who are actually working more miracles hmm

janeite Fri 12-Jun-09 17:45:24

I teach in a school like this: Ofsted = good with outstanding features but exam results are low (though improving). Unfortunately, the obsession with 30% is meaningless, as it is dependent on the scores of pupils on entry.

Many of our pupils (around 40%) have reading ages five years less than their chronological age on entry: their CVA scores are generally very good but they don't reach Grade C. Does that mean that they, as individuals, and we, as a school, must therefore be rubbish? Or does it mean that we do an outstanding job in teaching them literacy even though they were illiterate on entry? Why should their progress be any less valid than those who reach C?

OrmIrian Fri 12-Jun-09 19:25:17

I have no idea janeite, absolutely no idea. However how it will pan out in practice may be different. Who knows <shrug>

I do know that I'd far rather my son was at his school that at the other 'good results' school in the town.

lljkk Sun 14-Jun-09 08:20:51

This does apply to primaries too, right? I can't find anything that says not.

I think it's horrendous. Ofsted reports already depend to an extent on the exam results. Schools already teach too much to the test. Now the schools will just have that much more incentive to focus on tests, and nothing else. This is terrible for both academicaly able and not so academic children.

Since the exam results ARE published separately, why should Ofsted need to make exam results part of their assessment at all? Maybe relevant to the frequency of repeat inspections, but should not be included as part of the overall grade, imho.

duchesse Sun 14-Jun-09 08:24:12

I always find this "satisfactory" descriptor weird. I mean, do they mean satisfactory, or do they mean "room for improvement"? "Satisfactory" means not necessarily fantastic, but OK. So why lump "satisfactory" schools in with "failing" ones? Seems v v odd.

OrmIrian Tue 16-Jun-09 11:28:01

Yes. I think that 'satisfactory' should be renamed 'acceptable'. It sounds more like what it actually is.

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