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OFSTED rating vs. data dashboard

(12 Posts)
cowbiscuits74 Mon 08-Dec-14 01:03:45

Hello, sorry bit of a rambling post ... looking for some assistance on which to give most weight to in following the instance

We are looking at primaries for 2015 reception entry. One received Good in 2009 and last year was judged (I guess a light version of a full inspection ) as standards same and next assessment would be in next few years yet when I look at data dashboard it's KS2 results are below national average in fact they are in the bottom 20 % of similar schools

So my feeling is to look at the results rather than the rating but it makes me wonder why the under performance has not triggered an inspection

I don't want to write it off based on stats alone but can't visit so need something to go off. Should we cross it off our list or is there more to look at first and how do we do that ?

I will post in the local section too but wanted to ask in general terms as still not sure I am looking at the most appropriate metrics

Thanks

CastlesInTheSand Mon 08-Dec-14 02:39:34

You can't really trust either, because neither stat tells you how your DC will do there.

Ofsted ratings are normally very highly related to attainment so I'm surprised they don't match up.

After sending my DC to 4 diff primaries over the years I would say you can't judge them at all. So i would choose on location and school size and things like that. Not data or Ofsted.

I would choose the closest school that wasn't small.

louisejxxx Mon 08-Dec-14 06:47:09

I think that if it has still been judged has good then that means the pupils are still making good progress i.e. Most come in to the school below the expected level of attainment, but by the end of year 6 they have risen to in line with average (as an example). It should say somewhere in the ofsted report how "average" children are upon entry. If exceptionally below average, then bringing them up to average or even just slightly below average would still be considered good progress.

Obviously this isn't the only thing the report is based on. I'm by no means an expert1

ArchangelGallic Mon 08-Dec-14 06:52:57

The stats data is from May 2013. If you speak to the school they can give you idea of last year's SAT results. Doubt they'll provide the whole lot as there's so much.
Strongly recommend visiting and asking questions about progress and how they aim to improve. You also need to see how the school will benefit and nurture your child

titchy Mon 08-Dec-14 08:08:27

Well if it's a one form entry, and last years year 6 cohort happened to have 5 kids with severe learning difficulties then the results would look poor. But they wouldn't be a reflection on the school at all.

You really can't look at one years results without any context and draw accurate conclusions. Go and actually visit!

NoBloodyMore Mon 08-Dec-14 08:19:08

We have this at our DCs school, had 2 really small cohorts for the last 2 SATs years where 1 child has been over 6% of the results so one child under performing on the day meant a huge difference in predicted.

Also added to the fact that children are way below average when they start so they do make at least expected progress.

It's a fantastic school and my DC are very happy there (one on year 6 one in year 1) Id be very wary of choosing based on ofsted or data alone, it's much better to go and visit.

We've just picked high schools for my eldest and we've ended up choosing the one that on paper I was dead against, but in person it suited him much better than the 2 better schools.

sunnyfrostyday Mon 08-Dec-14 08:32:33

You can't really trust either, I'm afraid.

Our school currently has a Requires Improvement rating, because it had one bottom quintile dashboard figure for one year group. If you knew the cohort and teaching you would completely disagree - indeed, all of the parents, the local authority, the school improvement partner could not understand it.

You cannot tell from the data whether your child would thrive in a school. You are far better asking for local views, visit if you possibly can.

Also, worth knowing that, certainly around here, high dashboard figures often means high levels of stress for teachers and pupils. Our two closest upper quintile schools have a terrible problem with staff retention, and the parents are always moaning about pressure when I meet up with them.

cowbiscuits74 Mon 08-Dec-14 15:03:35

this is all great feedback thanks, I did smell a rat looking at the mis-match and now do not trust either or put as much stock in them as I did previously.

the stats at this particular school are low for last 3 years so maybe not a one off but also could be a perfectly good explanation all the same

agree on the size preference, not too small

yes visit and local knowledge is best but tricky as currently overseas, will post on local boards

thanks

RiversideMum Mon 08-Dec-14 18:58:13

Please visit the school instead. So many schools are now RI for such bizarre reasons. Look at staff turnover. Look at evidence of an exciting curriculum. Does the school have a warm and welcoming atmosphere? In reception, I'd look for adults on the floor playing with the children and a timetable with plenty of free play. Ha, but that's just me!

MillyMollyMama Tue 09-Dec-14 15:45:41

We are all different aren't we? I would never have looked for adults on the floor playing with children in Reception. This would not have been what my DD needed at all. She wanted to read, write and do maths. She learnt lines for her class assembly, she started to play the recorder and choose her own books from the school library. Depends what your child's needs are , I think!

redskybynight Tue 09-Dec-14 16:44:41

Results depend as much on the cohort as on the school. If your below average cohort get average results that would (IMO) seem to indicate a better school than one where a very able cohort scrape just above average results.

I am dubious about the validity of the data dashboard, particularly regarding the definition of "similar" schools. DC's large junior school with diverse intake and large proportion of children with SEN is apparently "similar" to some small primaries in middle class leafy suburbs. Gut feel apart there are real issues with how the dashboard calculates "similar" - there is some very odd averaging going on.

Pelicangiraffe Tue 09-Dec-14 19:25:19

Half way down the parent portal page is something called VALUE ADDED. Value added will tell you if the children at the school are under performing or over performing for their ability level.

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