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Chairman of governers blamed a bad year of students for poor ofsted report!

(32 Posts)
t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:01:44

I sat in dismay a parent of a year three child just starting at the school.. attending a parents meeting to discuss the inadequate ofsted report... as the chairman of governers stated that it had been a particularly bad year for students!!! He was overall so negative about the children and many parents reacted angrily when he said this ! I feel the governers should be changed in order for the school to improve......... not even a website thats up and running at the school but they will stay in place any thoughts.............they are not even elected ? They are voluntary ? what do they get out of it? The chairman talked over us felt like we were being lectured to by a higher being!!!

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:05:27

by a bad year for students he clearly meant they were not the cleverest year ...

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 19:17:17

well, different cohorts are by their very nature, different. smile

has there been a change in the catchment demographic/ area for any reason?

you do know that lots of mners are governors, right? and that in an awful lot of cases, the cofg is an an ex teacher or ht that still wishes to use their expertise and many years of experience for the benefit of students, right? and that anyone that volunteer to be a governor, but that you are required to complete an application process and attend training courses?

the tone of your op was singularly dismissive of all these facts and might not be the best way to engage with what you feel is a real problem.

did you listen past the 'blaming the kids' bit? what was the meat of this particular sandwich? are there a higher proportion of unfunded sn students in this cohort? have teaching methods been changed in the last year?

you know the role of the governing body right? the best way to get answers and positively alter outcome is to put yourself up for nomination as a governor. use your own experience of education to be a force for the good - particularly if you are unhappy with the current status quo. (if you have it experience and are willing to volunteer to runa school website, i bet the HT will bite your arm off - with a poor ofsted, they are probably looking at encouraging their staff to concentrate on educational outcomes. that's not to say that parent liaison and pr isn't important, it is, but it might not be what ofsted criticised the most.)

i presume you have a copy of the ofsted report and the detail as to which areas were not up to scratch. how does the governing body intend to ensure that the ht and teaching staff deal with the issues? does teh school have a school improvement plan? have you seen a copy of their 3 year plan? an excellence plan? who is their SIP? what does the SIP say? was he/ she at the meeting?

lots of things to mull over other than the cofg was negative, i think.

lostinwales Fri 16-Sep-11 19:18:31

That's a real shame as a school governor I would hate to think parents were left feeling like this. Normally governors are nominated for the position and if there is more than one nomination for the post then a vote would be held (I believe, normally it is so hard to find parents willing in the end the headteacher can be given the power to accost someone suitable and plead with them!)

In a small attempt to explain what the chair was saying, we do have annual forecasts for attainment by the end of year six projected from the younger years and some years are projected to do worse than others, which is not to say that the teachers have given up on them at all, just year groups can be very different. This is particularly true (the differences) if the year groups are only small. There are better ways of explaining this than others though!

I would have to say that being a governor is very satisfying, getting to know the workings of the school and in my school we are encouraged to be a big part of school life, attending some assembies (?sp), meeting the school council and helping to interview new staff, we get training for this which is in our own time. If you are not satisfied you should speak to your LEA, I'm sure there are procedures in place for complaint.

lostinwales Fri 16-Sep-11 19:19:55

<cross posted with a much more coherent madwoman>

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 19:21:56

i don't really understand the 'bad year for students' thing entirely - was this the new yr 3 cohort that had entered the (i assume) junior school? in which case i would be tempted to look closely at the infant feeder schools as well... if this is a year group that is moving through the school that have been particularly targeted, then there should be tracking measures in place to identify this and improve outcomes.

or was this cohort the y6s? in which case the cohort should have been tracked and improvement measures put in place during y3,4,5 - and the y6 outcomes would have been predicted.

so, sorry. not enough info in your op, except you are cross about a group of children being slighted. which is fine. but need informed context to discuss, really.

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 19:23:54

<waves to lost>
it didn't feel coherent. grin

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:25:25

No changes in demographics the report showed that senior management was inadequate and this affected the middle management and filtered down.... They are now putting funding into "marking" meaning teachers are coming in to teach the teachers how to give feedback...?? Also how to teach mathematics.......

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:28:46

He was talking about the year 6 cohort in the year they were assessed

lostinwales Fri 16-Sep-11 19:28:51

Seems to be a governor bashing night on MN tonight, people certainly think we are more powerful than I have ever felt. Possibly I am spoiled by the fact that we have an excellent HT and a lot of input from the LEA at every meeting.

lostinwales Fri 16-Sep-11 19:34:14

It sounds like they are putting measures in place to improve the situation t!zzy, I would be more alarmed if they were denying there was a problem and burying their heads in the sand. DH is a teacher (in a different school) and regularly goes on courses into how to give feedback and how to grade, this means that when the primary children go up to secondary school they have all been graded to the same standard which makes a difference. He also 'teaches' other teachers how to teach science as this is his specialist area and also means that all the primary children have been taught a similar standard and method. I hope this helps, I find it confusing and I think education is turning into my 'specialist area' now I have one in secondary too!

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:34:39

Had much respect for him until he made that comment! Also he said that the children are better off top of secondary school than bottom of grammer school.... Just felt like expectations were very low..... maybe now they will rise and maybe they will actually get a website !!LOL

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:37:12

The head teacher had apparently been acting as caretaker in order to save money! Coming in to open up and doing all maintenance Etc.....

DanFmDorking Fri 16-Sep-11 19:38:52

Each cohort of pupils is different and can affect the school results. He may have a point but I feel sure the reality is a lot more complicated.

Saying that in public shows he’s a pillock and greatly lacking in interpersonal/social skills. One needs to get the parents on board in order to change or improve (or indeed support) the school.

My advice is to keep up a firm but polite pressure for him to improve his manners!

(Oh, and Parent Governors are elected)

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 19:39:21

so why aren't you cross with the entire kit and caboodle?

if this was a lower ability cohort that had been tracked effectively through the school, support or intervention could have been introduced sooner, and perhaps altered the outcome. i mean, they had four years ffs, and i doubt the entire governing body have been in place that long. what is their tracking system like?

it really isn't the cofg's fault that that particular cohort was of a lower ability, but it certainly was his/ her responsibility to make sure they were effectively educated. so imvho, you are getting upset about entirely the wrong thing.

no-one likes to be told their child isn't a genius - but the real issue here is inadequate monitoring and apparently teaching. which the governing body can advise on and check regularly, but can't actually carry out themselves.

why aren't you livid with the HT? is it because they were nice enough to ignore the fact that a low ability cohort was moving through the school?


ho hum, lost. there just seems to be a lot of critics, but not one cares enough to actually get involved. far easier to harp from the sidelines.

lostinwales Fri 16-Sep-11 19:41:22

You're going to end up being the one running that website you know t1zzy grin. God money is ridiculously tight if the HT was acting as caretaker too. Not a fun time to be in education.

Think if they have money for courses they should invest a little in sending the chair of governors on a people management course.

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 19:41:34

and yy wrt social skills. clearly the (ineffective) ht has those in spades, as they haven't pissed off the parents, despite failing their kids.

DanFmDorking Fri 16-Sep-11 19:45:15

he said that the children are better off top of secondary school than bottom of grammar school....
What! He really hasn’t got a clue has he?

The head teacher had apparently been acting as caretaker
double what!! bad management, very bad, Headteachers are paid to manage the school and their time is much better spent on the school.

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:57:18

The head is off on compassionate leave and there is one from LA standing in for as long as needed! the head will prob not come back so we are left headless!!!

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:59:19

Ofsted are now setting up a website for the school they said they don't have to but are doing it any way as none of the teachers has a clue how to set one up they admitted it themselves at the meeting!!!!!

DanFmDorking Fri 16-Sep-11 20:01:00

t1zzy Has the school actually been put in to 'Special Measures’?

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 20:01:01

not headless - you have someone from the LA as acting head. which i have to say sounds like the perfect solution.

what's with the idea that the (completely ineffective) head on comp leave is a better person for the job than the appointed LA bod? i'd say the LA have a vested interest in sorting the whole thing out, so surely an LA stand-in ought to be welcomed?

if he isn't coming back, you do know that the governing body will have a role in selection and appointment of the new ht, right?

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 20:01:34

The new temporary head has now been introduced to the children and the two deputy heads who were acting may now be able to teach!

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Sep-11 20:01:47

i'm assuming not, dan. that's usually the first thing that comes up... if it has, then that's great.

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 20:03:30

Hope they do have a role in selection thats great... im sure now it will only be getting better and better

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