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NOW CLOSED Please take a few minutes to read Ofsted's proposals for changes to how they inspect schools and fill in their survey about it

(114 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Mar-12 11:30:47

Ofsted is currently running a consultation on how they inspect schools and potential changes that may be introduced.

They'd like more parents to take part in the consultation and have their say about how improvements can be made, and the steps Ofsted should take to help raise standards in schools.

Here's what Ofsted say about it: "In the consultation, we are focusing on the key areas of inspection that we believe will help those who provide education to improve children's chances of success. This consultation provides an opportunity to comment on proposals that Ofsted would like to introduce from 1 September 2012."

Ofsted would like you to complete their short survey, but before you do, please download and read the background info here so that you're familiar with the proposals, and are able to answer the questions in the survey. Once you've done that, please click on the link below to complete the survey (please note that the survey and questions look a bit different to others you may have seen on MN because it's an Ofsted survey rather than a MN one).

This is an opportunity to have your say on issues which impact on children's education. If you can spare the time to take part, please do.


r3dh3d Mon 02-Apr-12 14:55:29

Lol Clarella - if they do, it won't be available in the VI character set. confused

r3dh3d Mon 02-Apr-12 15:08:09

Meant to say (while we're on the subject of inspections at SN schools) that it's already very difficult for an SN school to prepare for an inspection because the "evidence" required is so hard to round up. The inspection criteria are very much written from the POV of a mainstream school, and though there are entire sections about how this doesn't apply and that doesn't apply and how leeway will be given for SN kids in mainstream or in a SN school, there's much less guidance about what evidence should be looked for instead. Plenty of ways not to be marked down, very few ways to be marked up. As a result, though SN schools will be given enough slack that the decent ones are not going to fail horribly, it is increasingly hard to see how a truly outstanding SN school can be judged "outstanding" at a no-notice inspection. SN schools use their notice period working out how to fit the round pegs they have as evidence into Ofsted's square holes.

bigTillyMint Mon 02-Apr-12 15:23:52

Clarella, I feel your pain sad

I work in a special setting for children with severe SEBD, often including ASD and complex learning difficulties. We all have to be assessed on the same Ofsted framework as mainstream schools, so although our lead inspector (very experienced with special settings) judged us to still be outstanding, he could only give us good under the new framework. The LA were up in arms, but there's nothing they can do either. Well, we know we are outstanding!

And FWIW, we would still be outstanding on a no-notice inspection smile

Clarella Thu 05-Apr-12 08:43:31

I really don't think SEN schools are noticed by this government. My DH and AH went to the Manchester conference recently about the new curriculum and not only did they have nothing to give/ tell us, they couldn't comment on SEN. They want a return to knowledge based learning (empty vessels to fill?!) but as my colleagues pointed out you can't do anything with that knowledge unless you have skills, something which is even more pertinent with SEN and ASD. I've never forgotten a child who could read, spell, handle numbers to 100 and yet did not understand the concept of using Sellotape. He simply laid it where he was asked. Really in SEN schools, to gain any progress and a happy child you can't be less than good. I really cannot describe the things we've dealt with in the last term (3 out of 5 of the children in my adjoining class are on antipsychotics) and one has learnt he gets the best reactions if he urinates on you. And yet he IS making progress down to the exhausting dedication of the team. But wander in at any point during the day and you see very little 'progress' or even engagement some days.

Also, although we are not technically an EBD school, several children would be classes as such if it were not for their Asd diagnosis. Teachers do get hurt but to their credit, over time, most children make progress with this, if they don't they tend to go to residential.

Sorry just ranting! It does cause me stress to think about being judged, but we know we're alright!

Grockle Thu 05-Apr-12 09:31:38

Clarella - that sounds much like my setting. I get weed on frequently. My class do not need 'knowledge' - they need life skills. OFSTED don't give a monkeys about the fact that one of my children has learnt to go to the toilet - he no longer wees on his chair (or me!). One of them doesn't bite me when he gets cross and can now say 'I feel sad' instead. Two of them have learnt to eat with a knife and fork and don't get up and wander round the room at lunchtime. THAT is progress. Massive progress. These children need to be able to function in the community. But no-one judges us or them on that. It's all about academic progress which is ridiculous.

bigTillyMint Thu 05-Apr-12 09:39:50

Clarella and Grockle it sounds like we have a lot in common, although we only have one wee'er ATM smile I also spend every lunchtime teaching children how to hold a knife and fork (never mind cutting chewy meat with a plastic knife!) and keep their bottom on the chair - I don't think there's an Ofsted tick box for that!

I don't mind being judged, but it should be on the right sort of criteria. I would LOVE to see Gove in charge of my class, teaching NC Y3 Literacy grin

Grockle Thu 05-Apr-12 13:40:29

I have often said the Gove (or even any of our SLT) should come into my classroom then judge our teaching according to his criteria. Like you, I don't mind being judged but I object to people looking for the wrong things in my children. It's utter madness and completely meaningless.

And why DO special schools serve chewy meat?

bigTillyMint Thu 05-Apr-12 14:15:58

Grockle, ours is shipped in from a local Primary, so I can only guess that they get chewy meat too <bleurgh>

Grockle Thu 05-Apr-12 14:18:03

Ugh. Ours is cooked onsite so there's no excuse. It's either chewy meat & solid potatoes or a trough of mince with a layer of orange oil on top. And they wonder why my class are 'fussy hmm'. I think they're much smarter than people give them credit for - I wouldn't eat that stuff either !

bigTillyMint Thu 05-Apr-12 15:46:18

Mostly ours look OK - we are a healthy eating school, so lots of salad and fruit, and no hot puds and custard sad, but I don't actually eat them (apart from the odd chip!) Ours aren't fussy - I think it's the only "proper food" most of them get and they mostly clear their plates.
Chewy meat just means that even more of the food is off the plate and onto the table as they struggle to saw through it grin

Grockle Thu 05-Apr-12 18:52:45

We're a healthy eating school too but with hot puddings, cream and custard hmm Dinner times are never the tidiest activity, are they? I'd LOVE Ofsted to observe a lunchtime with me - they are the best time to teach social and communication skills because the children are actually motivated to ask for things. Try getting them to communicate during an English lesson and I'm met with eye rolling and frosty stares and a lot of lying on the floor pretending not to listen. I love my job grin

Clarella Thu 05-Apr-12 20:18:00

Omg Grockle, you could be at my school! Yes chewy meat and yummy custard, not so yummy thrown all over you! PECS works great when the kitchen actually allow them to CHANGE THEIR MIND when they've tasted their choice - we may not try as hard to clean that off the walls.

Did I mention earlier I personally 'judge' my own lessons on the percentage of 'rollage'! I will be stamping 'peripheral learner' all over my planning from Sept onwards, which is when they've told us they are likely to come. Seriously,I have no idea how one child has learnt 100 extra words in a term, I haven't been able to get him to think about anything other than sonic and mario. He's started looking at comics a bit though. Which he tends to look at in maths. ( is it worth the tantrums to stop him resulting in setting the rest off and a spoilt morning - choose your battles!) (we do do 'sonic and Mario' maths though so he is making progress, Mr ofsted)

The lessons I deliver to thin air are hilarious. I sometimes seem to be doing a Joyce Grenfell.

But yes I wouldn't have it another way! Hope you're all enjoying your hols! Xx

Clarella Thu 05-Apr-12 20:20:19

Sorry that was supposed to say omg Grockle and Bigtilly!

bigTillyMint Fri 06-Apr-12 08:09:08

I don't have many rollers on the floor ATM (though there can be a lot of fidgeting on their chairs/kicking other's chairs, etc!), but some who have receptive and expressive language difficulties, combined with ASD/learning difficulties, so the literacy lesson Mr Ofsted observed was quite entertaining.

And yes, I feel like Joyce Grenfell at times too!

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