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Question re: Ofsted Inspections

(12 Posts)
signet Tue 16-Oct-12 11:15:08

Our local school was inspected back in the summer term and given a "satisfactory" grade. Since then we've had a note from the school to say that under the new framework the satisfactory grade has been taken away and that schools at this grade would now be graded as needs improvement.

Does this mean that our school is now on "needs improvement" despite it not having had an inspection under the new framework?

I don't actually have any issues with the school - kids love it and have been progressing well so it won't make much difference to my feelings about the school, but would just like to understand what they meant by the note. Does it mean they'll get another ofsted inspection sooner rather than later? To me it makes me think that something has prompted them having to send a note out to parents, but then I'm suspicious about most things!

So confused.

tiggytape Tue 16-Oct-12 12:44:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admission Tue 16-Oct-12 14:46:53

Ofsted have said that they will have re-inspected all satisfactory schools by the end of Summer term 2014, so the expectation would be that the school will be inspected in the first half of 2014, if they had an inspection in summer 2012.
Don't have any issue with believing that Ofsted are getting tougher over inspections and the grades given but for the school to be starting to get their excuses in now, for the next inspection does sound rather defeatist of the school. Getting a good grade is the school's hands, not the inspectors, if they want it to happen.

signet Tue 16-Oct-12 19:15:34

Thanks for your answers. Sounds like nothing has changed then but we should get another ofsted sooner than might have been expected previously. The school have plenty of notice to get their act together then.

Prarieflower Tue 16-Oct-12 20:19:50

Admission how normal is it for a school that has plummeted from Outstanding to Satisfactory to send out letters blaming the kids,new OFSTED criteria(have said it was impossible for them to get a good grade in summer 2012) etc.

Our school seems to be in total denial that anything is wrong,continuously lists what they see as their strengths(religion and extra curricular activities)and makes hardly any reference to what they're expected to improve on(literacy and maths).

Have now had 2 letters covering 2 sides of A4 as above.

Is that normal as I'm kind of worried said school's arrogance and denial that they need to improve is just going to continue?If this is what most schools do in this situation I'd chill a little iykwim. School in good catchment area with below average free school meals etc.

AbbyR1973 Tue 16-Oct-12 20:44:34

Prarieflower- I can't imagine that it is at all a good strategy for a school to continuously blame the inspection or the kids without also looking very seriously at itself. Having said that as a parent the OFSTED rating is not to me the most important thing.
I was looking at schools for DS1 last year. Only 1 infant/primary school in my town was outstanding I went to look round and whilst it seemed fine I didn't get the "feeling" I was looking for. I put it second choice and chose another local school as first choice as I got a better feeling when I looked around. As it turned out my son didn't get a place at either school. The council offered am awful school so I looked out of town.
My DS1 now attends a small village school that was rated satisfactory by OFSTED but I immediately felt it would be right for DS1. I haven't been disappointed- the school has been amazing since day1 and is a delight. Interestingly this school was inspected 2 weeks ago and we have just heard it is oustsnding and I'm not a bit surprised given the ethos and attitude on display at the school. The outstanding school in town that I had looked at is now satisfactory.
I think there is probably a lot of flux between the levels depending on leadership and attitudes in the schools but as I say OFSTED isn't everything...

Hulababy Tue 16-Oct-12 20:50:49

Under the new framework OFSTED inspections are tougher. And the grade of satisfactory no longer exists.

However, just because the new framework is tougher it doesn't mean schools should accept this. Just means they need to work harder to ensure they get rated as good.

ImaginateMum Tue 16-Oct-12 21:05:56

My kids' school had just been inspected under the new framework. They went from satisfactory two years ago to outstanding this time. They really worked hard at improving everything Ofsted was concerned about though (and never blamed the kids).

admission Tue 16-Oct-12 21:05:59

I have certainly seen schools who have gone from outstanding to satisfactory and they do tend to not want to believe what has happened to them. The issue is almost for sure that they get good results but they are not achieving the increase in attainment that the prior results would suggest.
However I think that it would be unfair to tar all such schools with the same brush and really it depends what were the circumstances of the downgrading of the individual schools. From what you have said the school should know that religion and extra curricular activities are not "main stream" when it comes to decisions on inspections but literacy and maths are, so it does sound a bit like a school that is in denial.
The interesting thing is whether with time they will realise that they do have to play the game according to Ofsted's rules not their own. If they don't and Ofsted return within the two years then they will not be satisfactory but requiring improvement or worse. If theyhave done nothing then they will be in a category I would think.

ImaginateMum Tue 16-Oct-12 21:08:02

Should add that the also managed to retain all the elements that the parents and children loved, and which meant that to US it was never satisfactory... so I feel like we have only gained.

mam29 Tue 16-Oct-12 23:27:34

Prarie flower-we like twins-cuurent schools in denial.

I was waiting to see head today and read the latest governers minutes from july,

osfted visted end june and downgraded to satisfactory.

every part of giverners was they being too harsh I dot belive them, the criterias got tougher,

since ofted report came out we get numerous letters saying they will turnj things round they improving.

At first I thourght ahh ofsted being overly harsh maybe-dont panic but wasent just the grades it was what inspecters said some was same as some underlying niggles i had last year.

so far this term

we had information evening
more letters including sats results
they brought in sports /music specialist.

the church did inspection and found teaching satisfactory, they a faith school so that really sort of hit home if they cant get re teaching right whats going on

I then relooked at 2009 report-I loked at this when first looked round. i dont think really read the detail it was rated good, went to visit had lovley feel, nice sized oprimary, close to where we lived dd went top prechool next door.

But some of the commets were same in 2009 good as 2012 ofsted satisafctory like they not improved.

Then whilst googling it came up with governers minutes
it said if we were ofsted in 2010 then we get satisfactory.
so why in 2012 did they get satofactory did they not care.
Deputy head said even bfeore ofsted arrived they thourght they get satisafctotory.

Im my case its made me think lomg and hard about dd future there.

However i know other schools satifactory or special measures even which are very good so its not all about the ofsted.

Prarieflower Wed 17-Oct-12 09:57:35

I think it's not a level playing field.Some schools have many challenges with intake but work their buts off to get good results.Other schools(ours) with very few problems just sit back and expect the kids to do it all for them.When expectations are raised or they get a slight dip in ability because they aren't used to pushing all children it shows.

I think OFSTED can pin point problems, their opinions are valuable(a lot of parents simply don't know what should be going on) but obviously results and a general feel are important too.I think positives in all 3 are crucial.

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