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(45 Posts)
sittinginthesun Tue 08-Oct-13 18:00:26

Evil evil evil evil.

That is all.

spanieleyes Tue 08-Oct-13 18:28:18


goldmum Tue 08-Oct-13 18:51:07

Totally agree. How can all schools fit their increasingly narrow criteria on what is 'good' or 'excellent'? Makes my blood boil.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 08-Oct-13 19:02:54

<crash bang squeak>

(sound of goalposts moving)

NickNacks Tue 08-Oct-13 19:04:15

Better the devil you know is how I'm feeling at the moment.

louby44 Tue 08-Oct-13 20:27:14

Oh yes! I have been through five of the things in my 17 year teaching career!

Vile 100%

stillenacht Tue 08-Oct-13 20:28:08



teacherwith2kids Tue 08-Oct-13 20:37:09

You see, I quite liked our Ofsted inspector. But he was a proper HMI person, who wanted to give us an opportunity to show him what the school was like (so suggested e.g. new ways to look at the data for him to check out an idea) and LOVED spending time with the children.

Rare, though.

pointythings Tue 08-Oct-13 21:00:19

OFSTED has always been bad, but currently it's mostly Michael Gove's cyberpoodle, equipped with poison fangs. Occasionally it finds fault with an Academy or a Free School to convey a false impression of impartiality, but that's it.

If OFSTED told me the pigs don't have wings, I'd go out and buy a reinforced umbrella.

sittinginthesun Wed 09-Oct-13 08:38:13

They're still in school, but I don't think they've actually looked at the school once. They have an agenda - one figure they don't like (progress in one subject), everything else, including attainment fine, but they won't let it go.

The inspector is the most bitter and evil man I have ever met.

tiggytape Wed 09-Oct-13 09:06:18

Arguably though progress is more important than attainment or at least as important. I don't think it is a bad thing that this has become a new focus. And if the one subject that lacks progress is English or Maths then it is fair enough the school are treated harshly for this - that would be a major problem even if everything else was fantastic.

Plenty of other schools have coasted along over the years with easy intakes of children who start school able to read, are way above the national average and who leave (unsurprisingly) with good results. Some of these schools are great but some add very little value at all and the children, whilst attaining well, don't always make the progress they could have done.

Ofsted is a daunting process for the teaching staff and SLT. I don't envy anyone the stress of being in the midst of an inspection but I don't buy the whole "it is evil Gove's master plan to make good schools look bad and academise them" spiel. Yes the goal posts have moved - progress not just attainment being rewarded is an example of that.

sittinginthesun Wed 09-Oct-13 09:35:20

Don't get me wrong, I agree that the progress is not good enough. I am a governor, and we have raised this with SLT. arrangements are already in place to improve and we are tracking.

It is just the attitude that gets me. He was not prepared to listen at all. He is basically doing a demolition job on a school which is fantastic in many many ways, has already identified the weak area, and is dealing with it.

If he sounded reasonable it would be so much easier, but he just came in on the attack.

ShoeWhore Wed 09-Oct-13 09:47:15

I think for me the problem is that the focus is so very narrow now and the process isn't very clear to parents.

Our school got a 3 because the latest set of results wasn't good enough. Fair cop. But since then the school had put in loads of changes which has really tightened up teaching but got no credit for that whatsoever because there wasn't enough evidence. So the inspector agreed he had witnessed consistently Good or better teaching during his visit but there was no mention of that in the report. So parents read the report and think oh my child's teacher is crap, which isn't quite an accurate picture really. (Thankfully this year's results are good and next year's predicted to be even better so hopefully it will be OK when we get reinspected.)

Another Head told me that when she tried to tell her inspector about all the enrichment activities they do (bearing in mind this is infants we are talking about), the inspector said "I'll stop you there - we're not really interested in all that" shock

I agree btw that the new focus on progress is much better. And that HMIs seem to be much better than contracted in inspectors (I've met quite a few over the last year or two!)

ShoeWhore Wed 09-Oct-13 09:50:48

sitting I totally understand where you are coming from re the demolition job.

Our school isn't perfect and to be fair the Ofsted judgement has given an impetus to push change through which is great. But the things it is good at (really lovely supportive atmosphere, brilliant at building children's confidence, turning children into independent learners) get no airtime at all.

Elibean Wed 09-Oct-13 09:58:14

I quite liked our lead inspector too (am a Gov). He was an ex-Head, and absolutely human.

Most of all, he clearly felt irritated with the new goalposts, the box ticking side of things, and the way he was restricted in his ability to credit 'soft' stuff like ethos with brownie points. He did a lot of that 'I couldn't possibly say but' and added he'd love to send his kids to our school if he lived in the area.

But of course, it all still leads to that narrow focus on 'good' v 'outstanding' anyway.

tiggytape Wed 09-Oct-13 11:11:41

sitting - The idea, I think, is that Ofsted will come down harshest on the schools where the SLT, governors or particularly the Head refuse to acknowledge a weak area or don't give great enough emphasis to addressing it. Normally (although I know it varies) where a school is upfront about addressing one weakness, the Inspectors won't ignore it but won't dwell on it either.

I suppose if it does happen though and the Inspaction team get their teeth into one problem, it can be as if the other things get sidelined.

pointythings Wed 09-Oct-13 11:12:38

What worries me is that teachers need to demonstrate progress in the space of one lesson. That's just madness. Just because a child appears to have grasped a new concept in that space of time does not mean that they can apply it consistently and independently in their work from there on in, which is the bit that matters. Conversely, just because a child does not grasp the concept immediately, that does not mean that the teaching is bad - just that more teaching and practice is needed. It's why schools constantly revisit previous work - to ensure that the foundations are there erady to be built on.

sittinginthesun Wed 09-Oct-13 11:42:30

I know exactly what he wanted us to say - that the school requires improvement. I was happy to say completely upfront that the writing progress requires improvement, and that this has been identified and is being addressed, but it clearly wasn't enough.

I just hope so much that the head and SLT take this on the chin. My boys are at the school and love every inch of it. If the confidence of the school is dented, it will have such a negative impact on the children. Gutted really.

Elibean Wed 09-Oct-13 11:49:01

Sitting, perhaps your job will be to help the SLT take it on the chin....totally agree, confidence makes a huge difference at every level.

In our case, the school missed 'outstanding' by a whisker. It doesn't actually matter very much, in the bigger picture, it all makes sense in terms of our development and box ticking, but there was a definite dip in spirits at school for about a week.

Then everyone bounced back and started loving school again (I'm talking adults here, the kids were fine!). Apart from a very few who are still reacting to their disappointment.

I hope your school bounces back just as fast, and is enjoying the challenge of their new post Ofsted plan within weeks.

sittinginthesun Wed 09-Oct-13 17:48:55

Level 3 hmm

teacherwith2kids Wed 09-Oct-13 17:59:34


Just sending sympathy. A (dedicated) head I know in a secondary school (in a very, very challenging area) had to withstand 2 days of being screamed at in every meeting (the final meeting to agree grades took over 3 hours), completely irrational demands (hysterical demands for data that they had already been provided with, including spitting in the head's face when they said that it had already been provided) and general nastiness (e.g. walking out of lessons that were going well, after a couple of minutes, in order to be able to say 'I can't grade that', and battening onto every even slightly weak lesson in order to be able to grade it. Oh, and graded a lesson as 'serious weaknesses' because 'my son would have found it too easy' -this was a lesson for the bottom set in Y7, all level 2 or below in Y6.

All becaise the head refused to allow them to publish the pre-prepared report they came with that said to put the school into Special Measures DESPITE a consistent 10 % year-on-year rise in results....

sittinginthesun Wed 09-Oct-13 19:11:25

Teacher - that sounds horrendous. I just don't know how these inspectors can sleep at night.

As I say, I'm all for improvement and agree that coasting is not acceptable, but this is just crazy. That's four primaries in our village/small town that have been downgraded to a 3. And nobody wants to send their children to the "outstanding" school, as the children are miserable and stressed.

Still, tomorrow is another day. I have bought biscuits for the staff room, and with any luck I'll bump into our local Tory MP in the supermarket and give him a piece of my mind.

Thanks everyone.

pointythings Wed 09-Oct-13 20:04:13

All becaise the head refused to allow them to publish the pre-prepared report they came with that said to put the school into Special Measures DESPITE a consistent 10 % year-on-year rise in results....

teacherwith2kids that is horrifying! I knew things were rigged, but this badly?

teacherwith2kids Wed 09-Oct-13 20:51:40

It was an LEA with virtually no academies, and a forced academisation through going into Special Measures was VERY politically desirable..

To an extent, all inspectors come with a 'pre-written report' - the information they get from the published data about the school, and queries it has thrown up. What was different in this case was that it was 'written in stone' - definitely a case of looking for evidence to confirm the worst case scenario, rather than allowing any conflicting evidence to be weighed in the balance.

Honestly, I don't know how that head made it through. A less obdurate and principled character would, I suspect, either have crumbled or been taken ill with the stress.

denialandpanic Thu 10-Oct-13 09:23:39

how many schools are Ofsted in nationwide on any two day period? I'm wondering is sitting s school is our school sad

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