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What if I think that DC's school is just not good enough?

(18 Posts)
blueberryupsidedown Wed 19-Feb-14 16:25:57

DCs are going to a local school, which has OK reputation locally and had a Good ofsted report two years ago. However, since then, the school has a new headteacher and a new deputy head, neither of whom had experience in that particular school. The new head had not been head teacher before. The school results have deteriorated since (the latest sats results are quite low compared to before, and also compared to other local schools). I don't agree with some of the behaviour management methods, and I think that my children are not progressing well, neither are motivated to learn. Basically I can't put my finger on what's wrong with the school but something is wrong.

We have spoken to the teachers and not really getting anywhere. I'm at a loss as to what to do really. We have other good local schools but I don't know if it's worth checking if the children could change school, or if we should just continue to demand improvement in teaching and just keep on going about it and become the type of parents who are just very demanding on teachers...

If the school was to be inspected right now I am confident that they wouldn't get a Good, but a Requires Improvement. Tips, help, comments welcome. Thank you!

Sleepyhead33 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:48:02

I don't really know how you are going to demand improvements in teaching?
If you are unhappy about so many different aspects of the school it would perhaps be better to leave.

SapphireMoon Wed 19-Feb-14 17:30:16

Cohorts can vary year on year. Their progress is perhaps more interesting than bottom line results.

littleredsquirrel Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:59

If something is wrong you raise the issue that is concerning you and see what they do about it, you decide whether they have addressed the issue such that you are happy to send your children there, if not you leave and find another school or homeschool.

LynetteScavo Wed 19-Feb-14 17:40:18

If your children aren't making progress, it's basically free child care, and you need to look for another school.

DD's progress wasn't sufficient last year, but that was because of her particular class teacher, and I knew she would get a much better teacher this year, so was happy to stick with the school.

You can demand improvement in teaching all you want, but I don't think there are any teachers out there who actually don't care if children in their class don't make any progress...but there are some who can't actually manage to ensure every single child does make progress. If the HT and other staff can't help them, then your're stuffed and need to move.

TheGruffalo2 Wed 19-Feb-14 18:05:35

If OFSTED have rated the school as good you will need hard and multiple sources of evidence to "demand improvement in teaching". You are making your judgments on anecdotal information about a set of results - all schools results go up and down, your own child's opinions and attitudes to school and your own opinions on behaviour management and leadership (why does a new head and deputy = bad? New blood, fresh ideas, first headship with motivation to make a difference....? ) None of this actually cuts it as fact that quality of teaching is not good enough.

If you are so unhappy with the school I think the only option is to move.

columngollum Wed 19-Feb-14 18:12:35

It might be worth finding out what the problem is in terms of the OP's children before the move, because, if the problem turns out not to be about teaching a move won't help.

TheGruffalo2 Wed 19-Feb-14 18:16:53

Agree columngollum wink

Sleepyhead33 Wed 19-Feb-14 18:22:00

Also agree with above smile. it sounds like typical playground gossip re leadership and as mentioned earlier, different cohorts produce different results-progress is what matters.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 20-Feb-14 11:20:48

I'm surprised you think it's gossip - really, it's not. I don't know what other parents think and frankly I don't really care. I don't see much progress and motivation in my children, their reading is stagnating and if we didn't do anything with them at home I would really struggle to see any progress at all. DS1 has always done very well at maths, and now he is going over concepts that he was learning last year, and doesn't seem to make much progress or be challenged. They don't do any individual reading at school; neither have gone up a level in reading at school despite reading pretty challenging books at home. Their homework is boring and repetitive, and the expectation is very low.

Discipline method for DS1 is quite old fashion - for example, one of the boys (who I know is on the autistic spectrum) is being made to stand at the front of the class, facing the wall, as a punishment for disruptive behaviour - he gets to do this often enough to have his own 'name' for the wall...

The new Head is invisible, don't see any leadership there, I don't think it's gossip at all it's just an observation. Some of the better teachers have left the school (3 in one year, and it's a one-form entry). And the sats results are truly shocking. Shocking compared to what they were, and compared to other local schools.

The point of my question was - has anyone tried to change their school as a parent (I don't know, by becoming a school governor or anything else). Or do you just put up with the poorer aspects of a school without really doing anything about it. If you think this is gossip than fine, but I want to improve my children's school but don't know how to go about it.

lavage Thu 20-Feb-14 11:54:36

You liked the school before but now feel that it has deteriorated. I don't see how anyone can judge that as playground gossip!

If you want to get involved, then you could become a parent-governor. But if you think the head is poor and the teaching inadequate - and nobody is taking your concerns seriously - then go and look at other schools in the area and go on the waiting list for the ones that you like. It's not difficult to move schools.

SapphireMoon Thu 20-Feb-14 12:21:55

Do ParentView and if really concerned you could contact Ofsted yourself I suppose expressing concerns?
If a parent gov position comes up, go for it...

lljkk Fri 21-Feb-14 13:28:15

SATs results changes: I wouldn't give a toss about.

Behaviour management stuff: is something you can jump on be you know your influence is small, though, it is hard to do much.

Your kids not motivated: this is the clincher. I would look around at other schools if DC at all amenable to idea of moving.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Fri 21-Feb-14 19:54:05


I think you have highlighted an interesting problem, and the response has been interesting. Lets assume you are right, the school is slipping under poor leadership and so on...

People on here would usually say you have no commitment to the community and its mums like you who would go in and complain and make sure something happens the school remains OK.

This is the theory behind abolishing all private schools, so mums like you m who care, who notice raise standards...

and yet, the responses...on here is the reason why I wouldn't bother fighting to raise up school standards...Just move!

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Fri 21-Feb-14 19:54:38

Sorry no commitment if you move your child from a sinking shop

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Fri 21-Feb-14 19:54:54

"i" blush

starlight1234 Fri 21-Feb-14 20:11:41

I would be looking further what is wrong and if it is resolvable for your children in the school...Unless you want to be a governor then you need to focus on what is going on for your child..It could be the teacher...

I wouldn't leave a child in a school I didn't believe they would progress in but would not move lightly either...

GruffalosGirl Fri 21-Feb-14 21:15:41

If I absolutely knew first hand that a primary child with asd was being managed like that I think I'd probably be reporting it to the lea senco to be honest.

I would certainly be trying to engage with the teacher and head to see what suggestions and attitude they had once I raised concerns about my children's lack of progress and depending on that I would make my decision on whether it's worth trying to stick it out or move my kids.

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