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Ofsted Inadequate and Special Measures - what happens next?(3 Posts)
We were informed last week that our school has been put into Special Measures and is Inadequate in all areas apart from EYFS (RI there).
It's a one class intake school, in quite a deprived area. The school as a whole is a lovely community but there are clearly serious weaknesses. One of these is governance, they get a really hard time of it in the report and I think that's quite justified. The board of governors doesn't seem to be robust enough.
They are very hard on teaching in all areas apart from upper KS2 and EYFS. Results dropped last year and, this year's improvement can't be considered because of when the inspection took place.
As a bit of background, the past four years have been quite chaotic for the school. The head left under a cloud at the start of that period (much loved although had not been coping for quite some time before his departure and has left behind a hangover of 'it wasn't like this when he was the head', when it was arguably worse, in some of the more vocal parents). There was a combination of Interim Head and Executive Head for two years before our current head was appointed in September 2016. The SLT were appointed last September. There are no teachers in the school who taught there four years ago, the upheaval has been massive.
As a parent, it feels like the school is really improving and heading in the right direction but the report makes it sound like no progress has been made in four years, and in fact that it's got worse. It's really disappointing.
We have a parents meeting with the SLT planned to discuss the report and have been invited to submit questions, if you were in my position, what would you ask?
Also, what can the school expect now it is in SM? Is automatic academisation still a thing? I know it used to be that schools got lots more money and resources when they were in SM but am I correct in thinking that automatically farming them out to a MAT did away with that?
I really want to work with the school. My children are happy and are making progress but I also want to ask robust questions and have a clear view of what happens next.
Thanks in advance.
I think you ask, how can we the parents help?
Having a single form entry school can mean that results fluctuate massively year on year depending on the children. With the head gone and a new head coming in a school can take time to settle, you say there are already improvements but these have not yet solidified to alter the report.
I think the truth of the matter is that parents cannot help in this scenario other than keep an eye on what progress is being made regarding improvement. Parents are not SLT, Governors, teachers or school improvement specialists.
A good school doesn’t see wildly fluctuating results and, if they have fewer with good Sats, can point to good progress instead. An Ofsted inspection of Inadequate is never on a single set of results. What you have here is a continued failure to improve the school by excellent teaching, management or governance. Ofsted need to see all children making good progress in all years. They can forgive a few rogue years if, overall, the majority of children are making good progress and the school are addressing their weaknesses. This school, I would guess, is doing neither.
So what to ask.
Who is the school improvement partner and how will the school work with them to improve?
Can the school improvement plan be shared with parents and the progress made on meeting the targets?
Is the governing body going to be replaced with people who know what they are doing?
Is the school now capable of monitoring the quality of teaching in the school and recognising when teachers need support to improve?
Is the school committed to quality first teaching and how will they recognise this in the school?
Is the assessment of the progress children are making robust?
What is the school going to do about weak progress where it is evident?
What changes will be made to the delivery of the curriculum to increase progress?
How will the Head and GB evaluate the school in the future?
Are they able to see and interrogate robust evidence to demonstrate improvement?
Sadly parents do not know about assessment and progress of children but this is key to getting a good Ofsted. As is good teaching. If they can have settled high quality teaching, you should see an improvement but the Head and GB really do need to know how to improve a school.
You won’t get extra money and they could become an academy, but possibly not immediately. They should get help from a school improvement partner - who was useless before if they didn’t see this coming! They need an expert to help and drive the improvements forward - quickly!
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