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Langley Hall Primary Academy (Slough): what's it really like there?

(18 Posts)
OfstedAintEverything Sat 16-Jul-16 10:02:20

This school is fairly local to me, and it's just had a terrible Ofsted (which puts it into special measures). It's been putting itself forward since it opened as the "naicest" school locally and has always seemed popular: does anyone know what happened?
Is it actually a good school but just forgot to jump the hoops?

Harrowmarket Sat 16-Jul-16 10:21:16

Have you read the ofsted?
I'm all for taking ofsted with a pinch of salt. But the school can't get safe guarding right! That is a basic to looking after people's kids.
When it opened people pulled kids out of other local schools, it's very flashy glossy with its expensive uniform and high fees for clubs etc.
But just sit and watch at lunch time, watch as they bus the kids in and out for lunch, watch the staff have no regard for their safety around the road and other people.
You've got unqualified teachers "teaching" staff that aren't Dbs checked around the children.
Parents have been pulling their kids out on safe guarding issues for about 18 months now.
There's no leadership to deal with parental issues, the head is ellusive and threatens to "not return fees if you take them out". That's the concern and threat, instead of dealing with the issue its money.
The same with the ofsted, instead of recognising the issues, they've put a response on their website about appealing?????
of course people's experiences differ, some will of course be happy. But safe guarding to me is one thing you can't get wrong.

Harrowmarket Sat 16-Jul-16 10:24:43

I think it was a good school, I think it grew too quickly and past its capabilities. thats where the management side let it down, it shouldn't have expanded as quickly and as big in such a short space of time.

OfstedAintEverything Sat 16-Jul-16 10:35:54

I must admit the safeguarding thing does sound worrying. My DD's old infant school got a "inadequate" rating a few years ago and it felt like we were reading about a different school when we read the report, it got regraded 18 months later to "good" because they got extra help with leadership and tightened up their record keeping.
I think because of this I am cynical about Ofsted accuracy... Also I have read the report, but also the letter from the school saying that the report is incorrect and they have no case to answer... They can't both be right... hmm so I kind of wondered what people with experience of the school thought...

It's a big school, the only reason I didn't try to put my DC there is I wasn't personally happy about the minibus-split-site thing (I like to know where my kids are) and I tried to look around but no-one returned my calls so after 3 attempts I gave up!...

It's a shame but I guess they can turn it around if they are motivated to.

Harrowmarket Sat 16-Jul-16 10:54:01

Yeah the mini bus thing boggles me! Who wants their kids to have a bus ride to lunch? That bit is so busy I can't see it as a good thing.
I've only talked to the parents who have ended up pulling their kids out, so my opinion is skewed by that. But I've certainly met plenty of parents who have pulled them out and the sheer number saying the same as ofsted (before it was inspected) speaks volumes.

Harrowmarket Sat 16-Jul-16 11:00:30

The other thing to note is the fact the children aren't meeting the base standard of attainment. Which fits with the struggle I've seen from the kids who have been moved struggling to catch up in their new school.
So the two basics of school
Keep them safe
Teach them stuff

They are failing on.

Obviously there will be people whose children are flying high and completely happy - I've just not met them.

Harrowmarket Sat 16-Jul-16 11:03:59

^This inspection began as a one-day inspection with two inspectors. When it converted to a two-day full
inspection, three further inspectors joined the team^
5 inspectors came to that conclusion.

SaltyMyDear Sun 17-Jul-16 05:46:14

BTW - if you're thinking about this school to try to get into Langley grammar - are you aware that Langley grammar has changed its admission criteria? Now local pupils only need to pass (ie get 111) which will make it fairly easy for local pupils to get in. If your child is 'top table' you shouldn't need tutoring to pass.

OfstedAintEverything Sun 17-Jul-16 08:47:40

Thanks Salty, but this is completely seperate to Langley Grammar, Langley Hall
Has no connection to them at all : and frankly if only 60 something percent are getting level 4 in English and Maths that doesn't sound very good preparation for 11 plua!!

Having looked at Langley Grammar's website, the new "local" criteria is solely based upon where parents live (and only covers Langley and Colnbrook, SL3 7 and SL3 8, so it's assymetric and doesn't even cover Iver village and Richings Park)

. Plus there are so many out of area kids that come in from Southall/Hayes/Uxbridge/isleworth/Twickenham/Reading- all in their general cachement- that the cohort is artificially raised (ALL those kids are tutored for 1-2 years) . So it's comparatively more difficult for local children to pass unless they have support, either DIY from parents or (more usually) tutoring. It is putting these local kids at a disadvantage to imply they don't need eleven plus tutoring or parent support when every out of cachement child is getting it. As it is, the local kids' pass rate is only 20% (figure from slough council analysis a few years back) rather than the 30% it would be if it was a true local cohort.

SaltyMyDear Sun 17-Jul-16 12:49:51

No it's all new. Kids from out of area will still need a very high pass mark (and they most certainly don't all get tutoring. Although most do)

But kids in the local area will only need 111. Which is not high.

Previous years stats aren't helpful. Because this local catchment admission category is brand new.

OfstedAintEverything Sun 17-Jul-16 16:05:59

I understand what you're saying, Salty, that kids in "local" cachement can get a place with a 111 "pass" mark rather than having to have a super-high score. But this is a cohort exam: just getting that score involves not a fixed level of achievement, but being in the top 30% of those taking the exam, so you have to get a better mark than 70% of the other kids. The more out-of-area kids that sit the test (some with little intent to actually take up a place as some do it for practice for other areas or as a "backup" if they can't get to their private school of choice) the harder it is for local kids to achieve a pass as it's artificially raising the average standard of candidate.

But-honestly- this is off topic. I was asking about Langley Hall just as a primary school.

There is no such thing as a "feeder" school for grammar in this area, that goes for any of the local schools. The school with the highest number of level 5 SATs and high eleven plus success rates is Castleview, and that's simply because it's a very priveleged cachement area (parents buy houses specifically for the cachement which costs £££) , low deprivation index and special needs in its pupils, and is a self fulfilling prophecy. I'm sure they will benefit immensely from the new langley grammar rules. But that's not what I was asking about.

SaltyMyDear Sun 17-Jul-16 19:32:12

No. I'm pretty sure it's 30% of the population not 30% of people who sit the exam.

I think last year around 50% passed.

Anyway. I know nothing about Langley hall. Besides the fact it's on a very busy road. smile

OfstedAintEverything Sun 17-Jul-16 22:10:09

Salty: this is the quote directly from the Slough Consortium, it is 30% of those who take the exam:

"We do not refer to a ‘pass’ mark. The 11+ entrance examination is designed to identify approximately the top 30% of pupils based on their performance in the examination. A score of 111 or greater means that your son or daughter falls within this range and may be considered suitable for a grammar school education - they are therefore eligible to be considered for a place in a grammar school if they were to apply".

NOT the top 30% of all "normal" pupils: The top 30% of those who are tested. Slough is not an "opt-out" test like Bucks where most children are tested automatically unless their parents withdraw them. So there is never a 50% pass rate. It is only ever 30% and because of the thousands who sit the test each year, lots of kids pass and then don't have a high enough score to get a place. Some of them, if local, may get prioritised by the new rules.

Anyway, I'll be finding out about all that later in the year...

SaltyMyDear Mon 18-Jul-16 17:38:28

You're interpreting that quote wrong. Top 30% of pupils refers to all pupils not pupils taking the exam.

(Although you're right the statement is ambiguous, that is what it happens to mean)

Honestly. I've been through this. It is 30% of the general population.

OfstedAintEverything Mon 18-Jul-16 18:20:44

Salty, with respect, you are not making any sense. How can they produce precise scoring for what 30% of "normal general population children" can achieve? And how could "50% of children pass" a cohort exam where only 30% of children who take it are allowed to pass it?
Those kids who you say aren't taking the exam, there is no way to know what they would score, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TAKING THE EXAM. You cannot possibly be correct, now please stop telling me I am wrong, I was just quoting the Slough website directly which clearly states the 30% pass rate. Look up the definition of "cohort exam" if you wish, or head over to the elevenplusexam forum where other folk can tell you the same thing.

Again, PLEASE stop derailing the thread. This was meant to be a simple enquiry about a local School to find out what the prents there thought of it, and if they thought the Ofsted was fair or being unduly harsh. I did not ask for a bunfight about how to interpret the local eleven plus rules, especially when you persist in posting misleading information!!!

I wondered if there were local mums who might like to give more positive stories of Langley Hall..... Was that too complex?

OfstedAintEverything Mon 25-Jul-16 14:10:50

Today there was an article in the Slough Express saying the council have offered the school support from an LEA related education consultancy, which sounds hopeful. I'm a bit surprised there hasn't been a single supportive post on here for Langley Hall (though I know this is one of the quieter sections of the forum so maybe it's just the Langley Hall parents don't come this way). I will watch with interest...

Eating50 Tue 27-Sep-16 20:08:07

I believe the ofsted report to be a fair reflection of this school. The senior management have an arrogant and an out of date attitude irrespective of the parents feedback The treatment of the parents and their complaints are as stated in the ofsted report. Complaints are mainly ignored or brush under the carpet. The management team are very combative and will not accept that many of the school policies and procedures are ineffectual. The school has a high turnover of female teachers during term time which is very concerning and unsettling for students. . A number of great staff left quickly and without explanation which makes a Parent wonder what's going on behind the scences. The play ground is not big enough for the kids to play without resulting in a number of juries. The main gate is often unsupervised where the younger students can wander out in the evening rush which has been witnesses on numerous occasions The playground is an unfriendly place with little engagement of parents. The school suffers many issues of racism against lots of cultures. The school concentrates heavy on the school play to the detriment of the majority of students who have not made the main cast. They spend weeks being couped up in classrooms watching movies as all academic studies are halted. Also the same students get the main cast roles year on year excluding the majority of students which is very disappointing for many of those budding actors who are not giving an opportunity. It is near impossible for student to bring a packed lunch irrespective of their diet requirements although the food appears to be ok, the portions are tiny and they often do not get what they ordered as its h already ran out by the time student goes to lunch. . Also the lunch selection system often does not update correctly leaving the students eating a jacket potato for weeks. Your laser account is constantly debited for wrist bands due to the student forgetting it for a day where a phone call to the parent could prevent this charge. Therefore you can end up having a dozen charges for wrist bands which can not be returned as they don't meet the schools standard although the wrist bands where sold In this condition. No matter how much you label the students'uniform it goes missing plus the lost and found bins are left outside in the rain. Nice smelly uniforms that cost a small fortune. The music team are fantastic and it's a great opportunity for a student to discover their potential. The office staff and the breakfast club staff are the unsong heros who show kindness and compassion to all students. I would visit the school and speak to as many parents prior to enrolling your children

OfstedAintEverything Tue 20-Dec-16 17:19:48

Well, an interesting update... according to the local newspaper, Langley Hall has been revisited by Ofsted as part of its special measures (5 months after the original visit) and the inspectors were so impressed they have immediately reclassified it as "good in all areas".... this seems very strange as usually an inadequate/special measures school stays that way for at least a year...
and now the school is suing Ofsted "to have the special measures completely annulled and all mention of this ever having happened taken off the records".
How peculiar......(and rather heavy handed! )

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