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Ofsted outstanding - approx 300 schools not visited in a decade

(37 Posts)
whotheeff Mon 02-Sep-19 15:04:17

This makes be so angry and confirms my suspicions that people paying higher property prices for an 'outstanding' school are having the wool pulled over their eyes.

I've often said failing schools being turned around, with new management and leadership, or 'good' schools are often far better bets for our children than and outstanding school resting on its laurels for 10 years with no fear of further inspection.

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herculepoirot2 Mon 02-Sep-19 15:23:51

Their results have to stay outstanding in order for them to avoid inspection.

whotheeff Mon 02-Sep-19 15:30:33

@herculepoirot2 I don't think that is the case and there are so many other things inspected that can only be observed in school.

'Since 2012, once rated outstanding, English schools have been exempt from routine inspections to free them from external intervention.'

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whotheeff Mon 02-Sep-19 15:33:05

'At the moment, ‘outstanding’ schools are not regularly inspected. Ofsted visits only if concerns have been raised about a school’s performance.'

Seems VERY vague!

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BubblesBuddy Mon 02-Sep-19 15:59:45

I think many people are more canny than to move to an expensive area because a school was outstanding 10 years ago. People do better homework than an old Ofsted report. All the on line data tells you if the school is still doing well and many leafy lane ones will still be good or better.

I do think these schools should be inspected but many previously outstanding ones have been due to poor progress and attainment of the children in more recent times. I would bet that all the outstanding Grammars around me are still outstanding!

herculepoirot2 Mon 02-Sep-19 16:03:47

It is the case. Obviously there are other things that need to be inspected, but if the results dip that can trigger an inspection.

clary Mon 02-Sep-19 16:15:31

The most prestigious state secondary near me has not been inspected since 2008 IIRC. Tbf it is a self fulfilling prophesy that it will be successful - popular, pushes prices up, richer people with more time and engagement in their kids' education, teachers want to work there so they can choose the best... Not saying I am in favour BTW and as it goes, my DC could have gone there (possibly) but we chose a more local option.

But yes, it's ridiculous. The whole staff could have changed in that time.

herculepoirot2 Mon 02-Sep-19 16:17:43

I agree it’s wrong, but the logic is that the results speak for themselves.

Piggywaspushed Mon 02-Sep-19 16:43:48

We went from 2008 until 2018 without an inspection. that didn't mean we weren't scrutinised. The minute results dipped, they were in!

The regular inspection for outstanding schools thing was a cost saving exercise so extra money will be needed.

ChloeDecker Mon 02-Sep-19 18:25:16

It’s strange to think that if they had an NQT start a year after that inspection, they could have been teaching for 9 years and never had an Ofsted inspection. Very jealous! (School near me last Ofsted’d as outstanding in 2007, which is even crazier!)

noblegiraffe Mon 02-Sep-19 18:40:57

It was Sam Freedman who came up with this and he now admits it was a bad idea. The education leak says it’s all set to change soon and they’ll be back on the inspection cycle.

It’s not right to say that if there were problems they’d be reinspected, loads dropped to inadequate when an inspection was finally triggered, and schools don’t become inadequate overnight.

herculepoirot2 Mon 02-Sep-19 18:50:18

It’s not right to say that if there were problems they’d be reinspected, loads dropped to inadequate when an inspection was finally triggered, and schools don’t become inadequate overnight.

It is correct to say that if the results dropped they were inspected. Obviously that doesn’t mean they are still outstanding environments, just that they weren’t left entirely to get on with it.

LolaSmiles Mon 02-Sep-19 18:59:08

Outstanding schools in our region still have different reputations. Take these two examples:

One is in demand more because other options aren't great if you live close by, but anyone with any knowledge of education knows their outcomes got them outstanding under the old framework but they've narrowed the curriculum, have staff teaching out of specialism, have fewer GCSE options, 3 year KS4. I'd not send my child there. They conveniently manage to lose some students before GCSEs and whilst I wouldn't say they're not inclusive, they make no attempt to encourage neurodiverse children to attend.

The other hasn't been inspected in a while (nowhere close to a decade though). The results on paper don't appear as good as the first school but it's always kept to its purpose of being a well-rounded and inclusive school. They support children of all abilities and offer lots of enrichment and trips and clubs. I'd love to have my children in that school.

House prices near the two schools are very different. Parents who take the time and effort to consider schools when moving house aren't silly enough to think those two schools are equal.

cantkeepawayforever Mon 02-Sep-19 19:05:03

Local primary hasn't been inspected since 2008. SATs results heavily supported by a universal culture of 11+ tutoring (in a 'black hole' wrt the very good local non-grammars). So there is no information at all that parents can rely on when judging the school's current teaching.

That teaching MAY be excellent, but an 11 year old Ofsted report and misleading SATs data can provide no data whatever on that point.

BubblesBuddy Mon 02-Sep-19 19:56:44

Lola: Results are not everything if progress is excellent. It depends on the starting points of the DC. It could still be a school doing an outstanding job if results are not stellar. Even if it’s good, that’s fine!

BubblesBuddy Mon 02-Sep-19 19:58:59

Sats data isn’t the only data. Also it’s unlikely every child is tutored. Some won’t be grammar bound or even dreaming of it.

whotheeff Mon 02-Sep-19 20:14:51

We always prefer to send our children to a school that is inclusive and nurturing as opposed to having an 'outstanding' ofsted, however I think it's naive to assume all parents research schools when moving.

A high school in Leeds is outstanding yet hasn't been inspected for years. House prices are significantly higher in the catchment area and people have also been known to rent flats or use grandparents' addresses in order to try and gain admission. It just baffles me that people are influenced so readily by an outdated ofsted report.

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LolaSmiles Mon 02-Sep-19 20:30:27

I know that's what I mean.

One gets good progress 8, but lower than the other. They have students who have to get 8s in every subject to come out at a p8 of 0 (and don't get me started on how GCSE and BTEC progress can be assessed from KS2 English and maths). The one with better p8 has average KS2 entry but when you look closely it's entirely propped up by limiting ebacc and bulking up the open bucket
Progress looks better at one school, but the educational provision in the other is better.

A school's reputation often is more telling than its Ofsted report and p8 score.

ChloeDecker Mon 02-Sep-19 21:04:56

Interesting quote from Sam Freedman

Nonetheless, he said the process was logically flawed. “If exam results were everything, you wouldn’t need inspections at all,” he said.

Schoolmumm Mon 02-Sep-19 21:07:45

Our local primary converted to academy status quite a few years back, once most certainly not. My eldest passed through it’s slightly better years, but they were even dipping then. No inspection in at least 10 years. Having said that, the savvier parents know better...and my once lucrative spot in terms of close proximity to the school, has taken a considerable nose dive in response.

LolaSmiles Mon 02-Sep-19 21:14:24

They must be due an inspection soon, overdue even.
Even outstanding schools aren't exempt when they convert to academy status. They have a short window to get settled and re-established (mainly I think for those schools who join large MATs or smaller ones, stand alone academies just had a breathing space) and then they are inspected as they are technically a new school and the old outstanding school no longer exists.

cantkeepawayforever Mon 02-Sep-19 21:48:26

Sats data isn’t the only data. Also it’s unlikely every child is tutored. Some won’t be grammar bound or even dreaming of it.

IIRC the results that Ofsted look at when deciding whether to inspect a school are those at the key checkpoints, such as SATs, rather than e.g. data for intermediate years.

And what level of tutoring would you regard as 'too insignificant to affect the results, when compared with a school where, because of its 'non black hole' location, very very few take the 11+'? While I agree with you that 100% tutoring is unlikely, I think it would be reasonable to say that even, say 30% would be sufficient to make a school's results not necessarily a true reflection of the school's own teaching, if that makes sense?

So if the data says 'In school A, previous high attainers make very good progress' BUT tutoring is very common for this subgroup, how can this school be compared with School B, where the same group make slightly lower progress but there is no tutoring so the school teaching is responsible for the progress?

Piggywaspushed Mon 02-Sep-19 22:03:12

Lola , my school was inspected in 2008. Became an academy in about 2011. Not inspected until 2018.

Cherryonthetop2019 Mon 02-Sep-19 22:04:03

My daughters school was last inspected I. 2008!! It converted to an academy in 2012, has had a complete change of SLT inc Head and has changed the school day and the way they set classes. Still hadn’t been inspected!!! There is no way it will retain its outstanding when it does get done. It’s not a great school at all!!

Witchend Mon 02-Sep-19 22:05:02

I'm looking forward to see what is said about a local school. Nearly 10 years ago said school "needed" outstanding in order to do a specific thing. Specific thing was discovered (under freedom of information act) to have been discussed for a few years between the head and the LA, with head putting pressure on the LA to sort it.

When it was announced they were going to do this (to general unhappiness) they also said they could only do it if they got outstanding at the next Ofsted. Amazingly Ofsted just happened to turn up within weeks and give them one. I know several teachers there who said that there was absolutely no way that was deserved and felt issues that had been seen/raised had been ignored by the inspectors.

I watch with interest. I think this could be entertaining.

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