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How do I evaluate a new academy school - as no ofsted?

(4 Posts)
Petallic Fri 01-May-15 12:23:00

My catchment primary is historically poor - ofsteds highlight poor teaching, leadership, behaviour control & alludes to low parent interest/support. I'm not from the area & when my neighbours learn I have small children they go out of their way to tell me NOT to send my DC to this catchment school. I've had 4/5 people all tell me this.

School has now been taken over by an academy group, lots of positive language in their proposals but what little concrete info I can find - eg poor attendance hasn't really improved. No ofsted for at least another year and DC will be starting Sept16.

I don't want to base my decision just on one parents evening/open day. Locally I don't know anyone actually at the school itself. I've had a friendly chat gossip with the school secretary.

My own experience of education (used to work for LEAs) is that a school in my old area wouldnt have been allowed to continue being so poor for so long. I cant tell if this school has been hampered by poor parenting (I live in the edge of a "rough" estate) or lack of support/resources (Ofsted says not, but I know things arent usually so clear cut).

Any suggestions on what else I can judge/find out? I'm ok with average teaching in the short term but its the poor behaviour control I am most concerned about. .

admission Fri 01-May-15 17:47:48

If you want to look at the old ofsted reports from the previously named school you can do so by going to the Ofsted site, go to inspection reports and put in the name of the old school and when it comes up with not found, press the all providers tab.
If it is a sponsored academy then it will be inspected but probably not for 18 months, so likely to be after you submit you admission preferences. If behaviour was an issue in previous Ofsted reports you can bet that the "new school" will be looking to sort this out as a priority.
By far your best bet is to ask to go on a visit to go around the school. You can ask the head teacher (principal) what is happening about behaviour but you just looking around the school is going to be the best way of checking it out.

ragged Fri 01-May-15 17:52:03

What is the gossip at local parent-toddler groups?
A lot of what makes a school can be the parents in local area, and they aren't going to change, are they?

Petallic Fri 01-May-15 21:45:18

Thanks for the suggestions, I hadn't thought of the toddler groups, theres at least one that meets very near the school so I will try there too. I had thought of meeting with the head but they seem to be changing still - the school has been through 2 in the past year with a third soon to be starting. Plus I was worried about being "that" kind of parent before my dc have even started, but maybe I should arrange to speak with the head.

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