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Inadequate OFSTED report

(13 Posts)
rara67 Mon 22-Apr-13 13:11:10

The local senior school is an academy. It cost £38m to build. There is no other choice in the area. It has just been awarded an Inadequate - special measures OFSTED. Any advice for current and prospective parents please? Who is ultimately responsible? How quickly can things improve? How involved can parents get? Many thanks

marchgrove Mon 22-Apr-13 13:21:38

I would be careful to take OFSTED too seriously these days. Read their full report - all the points - literally - before you accept their verdict.
Ofsted are obliged to label a school inadequate even if it is mostly good, if it fails in just ONE category (Michael Gove's new framework).
Talk to parents who already have children at the school with kids from a similar background to yourself, and see what their experience is.
If you find these contradict OFSTED, get behind your school and the teachers there, and join campaigns to get rid of Michaels Gove and Wilshaw.

prh47bridge Mon 22-Apr-13 13:46:17

That makes it sound like it is a failure in one category out of many. For clarity, the categories are:

- Achievement of pupils
- Quality of teaching
- Behaviour and safety of pupils
- Leadership and management

A school will be judged inadequate if it fails in one or more of those categories. Bluntly, I do not see how a school which is inadequate in one of these categories can possibly be regarded as anything other than inadequate.

tiggytape Mon 22-Apr-13 14:57:02

I agree with prh - whilst it is true Ofsted's framework has changed, it is not true that perfectly acceptable schools are being deemed failures for no good reason. If a school fails to adequately teach pupils for example, it doesn't matter how wonderful the pastoral care and other areas are, it is a failing school and needs urgent intervention.

I think I know of the school you are referring to and the Ofsted report highlights special needs aren't met, progress is poor, attainment is poor, teaching is not at an acceptable level..... and so it goes on. It is not just one crucial area but several that are below the acceptable standard.

On the plus side they seem to be taking urgent measures to bring about improvements and these can happen very quickly. It may be a time of great change for a while, but with new governors and people committed to turning it around, rapid improvement is very possible.

rara67 Mon 22-Apr-13 17:05:00

prh47 - the scores were as follows:

Achievement of pupils = 4
Quality of teaching = 4
Behaviour and safety of pupils = 3
Leadership and management = 4

So, a very sound "Inadequate"

tiggy - thanks for your positive comments but phrases from the report such as "School leaders do not show the capacity to make the main improvements that are needed" are very worrying. Where can I see the action plan? I appreciate it wont be finalised but the way the covering letter to the report read, they knew that this was coming so surely there is already some sort of plan in place. How do you recruit new governors? Perhaps such a bad report will encourage some really supportive parents? I just feel that someone should be accountable and every effort should be made for the 1000's of children who have not, are not and will not get the kind of education that every child deserves (or at least something close to it). I cant think of another example where a failing monopoly continues to get so much business!

tiggytape Mon 22-Apr-13 17:26:46

The board of governors has already been suspended and replaced with an interim academy board (according to the local press). The new governors are chaired by the MD of the academy sponsor who is putting into action "plans for rapid improvement". I am sure they would discuss this with you if you asked although whether you'd get to see actual plans (or whether anything formal exists yet is not clear)

In some situations like this the Head will leave too especially where leadership is deemed to be one the of main problems.

The main thing is that the school will now be under scrutiny. It will receive monitoring visits from Ofsted and be inspected again much sooner than other schools. It won't just be allowed to carry on as it has been doing. So whilst special measures is worrying, it is better a school is identified as such and put under the spotlight than if it is missed and continues as it is or getting worse.

rara67 Mon 22-Apr-13 18:22:04

Thanks and agreed. Our primary school as you may know "Requires Improvement" however we have much more faith that this is being resolved and that the management DO have the capacity. The Prospects MD advertises his email on their website so I need to contact him and see how I can keep up to date with the plans. I will also contact our local councillor as I know he is some way involved with the school. I am not sure if it is within an MP's remit. I guess I want everyone to know the problem, take some responsibility for it and show some true commitment in getting it out of the mire, asap. Oh, and try to encourage others to do the same!

marchgrove Mon 22-Apr-13 22:39:27

"it is not true that perfectly acceptable schools are being deemed failures for no good reason"

My DD's school was just given an inadequate rating. It got inadequate for achievement of pupils despite "All groups of pupils, including those eligible for free school meals who benefit from the pupil premium make good progress in Key Stage 2. The gap between these pupils and their classmates is closing. These pupils outperformed others of their age group nationally in English and mathematics, as shown by their results at the end of Year 6 in 2012"
They also got inadequate for teaching despite all lessons observed during the inspection being good or better.
Ofsted judged that behaviour and safety needed improvement despite commenting that "Observations during the inspection found that pupils were polite and well-mannered, especially during lunch time, and no lessons were disrupted by inappropriate behaviour."
Leadership and management were judged also to require improvement. Why? Because pupils at key stage 1 have been performing below national average for some time.

Personally I don't believe in early hot housing anyway, so this is just an extra selling point for the school in my opinion.

All I'm saying is don't take an ofsted report at face value without reading it carefully. You may find it's actually quite a good school.

seeker Mon 22-Apr-13 22:50:43

"They also got inadequate for teaching despite all lessons observed during the inspection being good or better. "

They got a 4 for teaching even though all the lessons they observed were good or upstanding?

How did they explain that in the body of the report? Or is the teaching good or outstanding but the children make no progress?

marchgrove Mon 22-Apr-13 22:52:24

My understanding is that it was based on lack of sufficient progress at KS1

tiggytape Mon 22-Apr-13 22:52:28

marchgrove - the school the OP is talking about has comments that match the levels given.
I won't quote any here directly as OP may not want the name of the school outed on MN but the comments were pretty much all bad.

It is true that most inspection reports will include some positive comments even if a school is failing. Most schools get a lot of things right, or at least try to, even if many other things are wrong.
And schools can be failing even with decent results (if they fail to get an easy intake of above-average pupils to progress much for example, the grades look good but the progress may still be poor).
Schools with good teachers can fail if the leadership is poor.

marchgrove Mon 22-Apr-13 23:03:16

tiggytape, you are right.

But through my dd's school's ofsted experience, all I can say is that it doesn't reflect how I and all the parents I have spoken to feel about the school. We feel it is a mostly good school, and the 'inadequate overall' is insulting and a demoralising. I am supporting my dd's teachers and headteacher as are many other parents...

tiggytape Mon 22-Apr-13 23:17:51

I don't know your school marchgrove but my Ofsted experiences have been generally along the lines of 'they've got a point'

Parents don't have the full picture on any school.
I am not saying Ofsted do either but they have a different picture.
Parents who think their school is wonderful and stretches their bright, maths loving child wonderfully wouldn't recognise the picture painted of the same school by the parents of a child with additional needs who gets none of the support he's supposed to.
Parents who adore their wonderful nursery teacher or devoted Year 2 teacher don't necessarily know that the parents of children in the older years are fed up with no progress, no communication and a constant stream of supply teachers.
Parents who value a happy, community school may overlook the fact (or not even know) that children in their school don't have the same intervention programmes, opportunities or expected levels of progress as children in other schools.

Most parents have 1, 2 or 3 children and don't tend to change schools every year so their perception of a school is limited to perhaps a few direct comparisons and things that apply only to them eg if they have a bright child they might not know that the dyslexia provision is beyond awful.

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