Trumpington Meadows Primary School - Ofsted report

(30 Posts)
Abenethri Sun 13-Jul-14 23:35:12

We recently moved to the Trumpington Meadows catchment (in January) but I was shocked to see their recent Ofsted report from April! Now v worried for DC (not yet school age but am planning ahead), and wondering if we made a big (and expensive) mistake. Can anyone shed any light on why the report was so bad and what the school is like? Would really like to hear views from any parents with children at the school!

Rarily Mon 14-Jul-14 15:52:44

Hi, we are due to move into the area too. We have visited Trumpington Meadows and Fawcett. I'll inbox you.

Abenethri Tue 15-Jul-14 12:58:19

Thanks Rarily! I'm particularly worried about the tone of their newsletters about the Ofsted report - it sounds like a lot of bluster, denial and buck-passing rather than facing up to a report that is quite damning about the governors, management team and teaching quality. I would expect to see a lot more alarm and a lot more being done by the school - only about 6% of schools get a grade that bad, and they've only been open less than a year.

Is there anyone on MN who has children there who knows what's been going on?

FurlaBag Tue 15-Jul-14 18:29:48

I'd like to know what it's like there and what to make of the report too please

niminypiminy Wed 16-Jul-14 10:45:03

I've just had a look at the Ofsted report, and at the school newsletter. I'm on the governing body of a school in Cambridge that had exactly the same grades and judgement (4433, inadequate) 18 months ago, and has just had a repeat inspection and gone up to 2211, good.

It took an absolutely huge amount of work to get there. The management team and governors had to start by taking the report on the chin, accepting the findings and sorting them out. To be honest, I do not see that in the response of the chair of governors. Saying that the report is unfair (even if it is) is completely the wrong way to go. You simply have to get on with it and start making a plan immediately for how exactly you are going to address the weaknesses in the school.

FurlaBag Wed 16-Jul-14 16:56:18

Can I see a copy of that letter please?

Abenethri Wed 16-Jul-14 18:30:31

furlabag - the newsletters are on their website; I think the last two deal with the Ofsted inspection. niminypiminy that's what I thought - they don't even seem to acknowledge the seriousness of the report really! sad

FurlaBag Wed 16-Jul-14 18:56:01

I had a feeling it hadn't gone well. They published the opinions of the parents way before the Ofsted report. They say it all really Trumpington Meadows

FurlaBag Wed 16-Jul-14 18:57:38

I'm so gutted. We'll have to consider going private I guess which I'd hate to do because we can't really afford it and it's against my principles and beliefs.

Abenethri Wed 16-Jul-14 19:12:38

We're in exactly the same position furla - can't really afford it and don't really believe in it but we also can't afford to move again right at the moment, so we might have to consider going private sad Not sure how much I'd trust it if they were able to get a "good" report on the next inspection, though judging by what niminy says it sounds unlikely that they would be able to!

northofcambridge Thu 17-Jul-14 21:24:33

just a thought have you been to the school - Ofsted is not be all and end of how good a school is - not a Trumpington Medows parent BTW
Agree to they do have sort it -but the Ofsted have moved the goal posts a lot

FurlaBag Thu 17-Jul-14 22:11:20

I agree northofcambridge that Ofsted must be taken with a pinch of salt but the parents' comments are quite negative too. If you put the two things together...

npa30 Mon 28-Jul-14 11:27:44

We moved into the area too and have friends with DC there - I know a number of families who took kids out mid year and moved them to other schools (Shelford for example). From what I hear the experience at Fawcett is very different (though the same management team). I was worried about a new and untested school so we did stretch ourselves painfully and have gone private.

Abenethri Thu 31-Jul-14 01:31:32

Did they say why they took their kids out, npa30? I'm trying to find out if it's teething difficulties or something more systematic.

LocalEditorCambridge Thu 31-Jul-14 13:03:08

I'm sure this isn't saying anything new ...

article in Cambridge News

FurlaBag Thu 31-Jul-14 21:28:17

How embarrassing for all those involved to end up on the news with such a bad headline!

Londo Thu 14-Aug-14 11:33:56

Well I can say much but I do know we moved from Private with Outstanding to Trumpington Meadows this June. And after being very nervous about it due to the social pressures of the Ofsted, I do feel it is the right decision for her both socially and academically. My daughter was happy, not excluded and she brought home loads of work that she had done in the month she was there.

I can't say that I will be happy later - only time will tell - but having gone to the Ofsted Outstanding school I do know I am not as impressed with the reports as I once was.

BTW - I do know the inspection was done when both the head and the assistant head were in hospital. Both my husband and I are academically high achievers. And we will be working hard both to make sure our daughter does well but I don't live and die by Ofsted.

npa30 Sat 16-Aug-14 23:22:16

Abenethri, I have friends with DC's at both. One had two DD's at Trumpington meadows, and had concerns about teaching and feedback about her girls progress. From what I understand parents with kids at Fawcett are happy because they have a strong parent group that is involved and helps support the learning. Those at Trumpington meadows are perhaps yet to get that network. Will this change with time? I hope so

SeniorWranglered Wed 03-Sep-14 11:39:57

Have (hopefully) name changed for this as it's sensitive. I know a a great deal about what is going on, in a professional capacity, and I personally would not be worried about sending my children to the school.

I can't say much in a public forum, but I would urge anyone with concerns to speak to Executive Head Teacher Judith Osler or Assistant Head Sarah Buckerfield in person about what went on during the inspection, and what is being done behind the scenes to ensure the next one is better. They are both very approachable and experienced.

Sticking to factual information in the public domain that you could verify yourself, if so inclined:

1. It's very new, having only moved into the building properly less than a year ago.

2. It was inspected just 7 months after opening its doors rather than after 18 months, as usually happens with a new school (it existed on paper beforehand but the pupils were educated at Fawcett School in amongst Fawcett children, so they didn't become isolated).

3. The inspector was a sub-contractor rather than an official HMI, and she has a track record of giving four times as many Level 4 grades than the average for sub-contracted inspectors. (Make of that what you will). OFSTED are now getting rid of sub-contractors and hiring all their inspectors directly. (Also make of that what you will).

4. The grading was 'with capacity', which means it has been judged to have a decent governing body and existing management capacity to improve. The governors have not been removed, which is significant in understanding the process here, nor has the executive head teacher.

5. The Chair of Governors is Andrew Baxter, former Chief Education Officer of Cambridgeshire County Council, so someone with a significant track record in education of successfully leading and managing local provision.

I can't say any more than this at the moment, but I would urge anyone with concerns to visit the school and speak to the people in charge.

FurlaBag Wed 03-Sep-14 13:18:18

Thank you for your input.
There have been other schools that have been inspected soon after opening and got a much better grade, Queen Emma being one good and recent example.
I've never believed in excusing a poor result with considerations regarding the harshness of the assessors. It makes for a weak argument IMHO.
I think apologising to the parents and promising to work harder would go a long way rather than trying to find excuses for this appalling result.

CambsVillager Wed 03-Sep-14 15:17:56

WRT Andrew Baxter, former Chief Education Officer of Cambs CC and now Chair of Governors for Trumpington Meadows School; Having a former county council head of education on the board of governors, with all his experience in dispute management, in sidestepping and and in overlooking inconvenient facts, is most likely to be of very great and beneficial support to the staff and Headteacher.

Whether, in times of dispute or disharmony with the school, it's beneficial to the parents and children to have such a former post holder on the school's board of governors is open to question.

I would be very dubious about placing my child in Trumpington Meadows given the combination of its OFSTED report, parental feedback and the former occupation and defensive attitude of the Chair of Governors.

SeniorWranglered Wed 03-Sep-14 21:23:51

Well, that's a couple of alternative views for you there. Have you visited the school at all, out of interest? Are you familiar with the pupil progress data?

SeniorWranglered Wed 03-Sep-14 21:31:12

Incidentally Queen Emma was inspected eighteen months after opening, not seven months.

SeniorWranglered Sat 20-Sep-14 15:48:29

Update: Trumpington Meadows had a monitoring visit from an HMI a few days ago, and the associated letter the HMI wrote the school in the light of this will be published on the school's website as soon as it appears on the OFSTED website (it's currently embargoed). While the school can't divulge the outcome of the monitoring visit yet, it's happy enough about it for the contents of the letter to be widely publicised as soon as possible.

The school was delighted with the HMI's professionalism and attention to detail.

Londo Tue 07-Oct-14 13:27:52

The Ofsted letterhas been posted. It is very encouraging and more inline with what I'm see as a parent of a child at the school.

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