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How long do schools have to come out of special measures?

(17 Posts)
temporary Fri 17-May-13 23:09:40

My dd's school has been in special measures since spring last year. I am wondering how long it can take to come out before the head is forcibly removed and it is "academised"? It is doing well, i am happy there and dd is happy, the SATS results were/will be good, so I don't want the disruption, but as it has been over a year now I am nervous.

The local authority are v.supportive, but I am assuming there will be some time limit & formal process for it to move out of special measures. Next inspection is any time now.

jellysmum77 Sat 18-May-13 08:30:11

I was working in a special measures school a couple of years ago. Not sure if anything has changed but at that time you had two years. Within that two years the school with have been visited by an HMI inspector every term to see how they are getting on with targets they have been set to get out of Special Measures. We came out in 18 months. On the last visit, half way through the first day the inspector decided it was time to turn it into a full section five inspection and called for another inspector to join him on the second day. The decision was made after the two days to grade us as good. I thin that if it hasn't got to that point after two years then that's when they start looking at removing head etc.

temporary Sat 18-May-13 12:38:59

Ok thanks. We have another 10 months then.
Does the last HMI visit always have to be followed by a full section 5 inspection? What is the difference, do you know?

MoaningMingeWhingesAgain Sat 18-May-13 12:43:02

It depends what the visit what planned as IME. It may have been planned as a monitoring visit, but if they feel it can come out of SM they turn it into a full section 5 to fully assess and grade it.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 18-May-13 12:52:38

Not sure if it is the same for secondary but DCs' school was in SM when we joined, came out of SM then went back in again a year or so later. School struggled out again then teetered on the brink of going back in again then was cackademied (an expression I heard here in MN which describes it perfectly).

Fuzzymum1 Sat 18-May-13 17:30:11

Our primary school was in SM years ago and we were told that coming out in 14 months was very fast and that we could have had almost double that.

ofstedconfused Sun 19-May-13 12:31:28

Being academised will have little to do with the OFSTED but far more to do with politics behind the scene. OFSTED is just used as a playing card in the process.

Cof G at our school was asked to consider academy status (with it made clear that it wasn't really a choice) a month before school was given Notice to Improve. School was previously Good with Outstanding features.

teacherwith2kids Sun 19-May-13 12:39:41

It depenbds entirely on the political environment. Ofsted team sent in to secondary I know of with a political agenda and a pre-written report designed to take them into Special Measures and therefore force them to become the first academy in the area.

Head mounted extreme resistance, school not put into SMs. Governors in fact deciding to turn school into an academy pro-actively in order to stabilise funding, avoid the disruption of forced academisation and to get their own choice of sponsor (rather than one being forced on them).

In another case, head left on the day after the inspection results were announced. Executive head appointed, school out of SM and up to good within a year, no suggestion of academisation. It genuinely depends, more on the poilitical environment that the academic one, although if poor leadership is identified as a reason why they went into SM, then it is obviously more likely that their removal will happen earlier rather than later.

cherrybakewall Sun 19-May-13 13:09:33

So what happens when an academy goes into SM? Our primary school converted to an academy last Sept. Failed Ofsted last month and put into SM. Headmaster immediately resigned and has not been seen since. He is not working his notice so school currently has no head. What now?

teacherwith2kids Sun 19-May-13 13:16:22


tbh, that is the Great Unknown.

Since Academies were meant to 'solve everything', politicians didn't really think through what happened if they failed.

Since the LEA has no involvement with an academy, they can't help.

HMI presumably still do, as they are a government body not an LEA thing. As academies basically answer to the Department of Educatin, perhaps you should address your question to Mr Gove?!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 19-May-13 13:29:50

cherrybakewell - From what I understand the governing body will be responsible for employing a replacement head as with any other school. Does your school belong to some sort of academic trust?

I would guess that if the former head has run off into the night then there will have been no recruitment process started. Any replacement will have to work notice at their current school.

My DCs' secondary fired one of it previous heads on the grounds that no one would be better than him. For big strategic decisions they were sharing a head with another school.

All of this put a lot of pressure on the deputy. We have now been academied after two goes at SM. I suspect that SM awaits us again as our replacement head (after the fired one) is an incompetent moron who couldnt organise his way out of a wet paper bag. It is noticeable that the deputy seems to be running the show again.

What is your deputy like cherrybakewell?

prh47bridge Sun 19-May-13 13:49:13

*teacherwith2kids" - No it is not the great unknown. A number of academies have been into and out of special measures. The process is well established and was set up before any failed.

In brief, the academy trust controlling the school has to produce an action plan and will be inspected regularly to ensure it is making progress. The Secretary of State can appoint additional governors, replace the governors with an Interim Executive Board or terminate the funding agreement, either allowing new management to take over or closing the school completely.

teacherwith2kids Sun 19-May-13 14:03:00

Apologies. I was clearly misinformed. So HMI are involved in monitoring visits, as they are for other schools? Who provides the support - e.g. advisors, executive heads, training support etc - that LEAs do for other failing schools?

cherrybakewall Sun 19-May-13 14:38:17

Thanjs for your comments . We have an action plan and the governors are in the process of appointing an acting head I think. The deputy is very good. I actually prefer her to the outgoing head. It's all a bit worrying though.sad sad

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 19-May-13 17:00:36

We had the primary in SM and then secondary in and out of SM like it's caught on the door handle.

As a parent there is little you can do with regard to the management of the school unless you are a governor which may be worth considering going for if you have the time and patience.

IMO (based on admittedly limited experience) if you have any say in the matter at all beware of 'messiah' heads. I have had experience of a couple of these, these are the ones with a mission to 'save' the school/pupils/community. What you need is a competent administrator.

prh47bridge Sun 19-May-13 18:40:52

teacherwith2kids - Yes, HMI and Ofsted have the same responsibilities for a failing academy as for any other type of school.

The LA's responsibilities broadly fall to the academy trust that controls the school. In essence that is the academy chain if it is part of one, the school itself if it is not.

Note that many LAs do not provide the support you list for failing schools. They delegate their school improvement budget to individual schools therefore they don't have a pot of money to draw on to provide additional help for schools in special measures.

teacherwith2kids Sun 19-May-13 19:38:48


Apologies again for generalising from my own experience. In the counties I have taught in, a school going into SMs triggers a whole load of help from the LEA - any schools below the 'Good' threshold have school improvement partners anyway, but if one goes into SM then the LEA advisory team swings into action, sending in e.g. executive heads shared with other schools &specialist SEN support and arranging training / twinning with other schools as required.

Possibly a feature of LEAs characterised by many very small primaries, with very few academies.

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