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Unannounced Section 8 becoming a Section 5 partway through day 1. That's not going to be a good outcome, is it?

(14 Posts)
ExactlyHowBad Wed 11-Feb-15 22:26:33

DCs' school had an unannounced Section 8 behaviour inspection last week; 1 inspector, 1 day, apparently.

By the afternoon there were two inspectors and it had become a full Section 5.

It was inspected towards the end of 2011 under the old framework and graded Outstanding. Head had been there for 3 years by then but there has been a lot of issues with her and a significant number of parents are very unhappy. Bullying isn't dealt with, safeguarding procedures aren't followed properly - there's too much to go into really but lots of complaints had been made and ParentView had 75%+ of responses as Disagree or Strongly Disagree to Qs 8 - 11. I'm assuming that's what triggered it as no other school I know of has ever had an unannounced inspection like this.

Obviously as parents we're all in the dark about the outcome until the report is published but looking at the Inspectors' Handbook for these types of inspections it says:

If the evidence gathered and scrutinised during the inspection indicates that behaviour or safety, or any other aspects of the school, may be inadequate, inspectors should inform the school that it is likely to require a full inspection (under section 5). The inspector will inform the relevant Regional Director of the outcome of the visit and a full inspection (section 8 deemed section 5) should take place as soon as possible. A monitoring letter should be written unless the Regional Director decides that the full inspection will take place before the letter would be published. If the concerns raised are extremely serious, the Regional Director should, in consultation with the lead inspector, consider whether the visit should be extended and deemed a section 5 inspection.

That basically means we're looking at Special Measures, doesn't it? If something was found to be Inadequate and seriously enough for the inspection to become a Section 5 there and then, something is seriously wrong, isn't it?

Has anyone else ever experienced this? What was the outcome?

How likely is it that the Head will keep her job if they are in Special Measures, and if she doesn't, how quickly will she be removed? Will the school end up being forced into an Academy?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm really worried about what is likely to happen.

steppeinginto2015 Wed 11-Feb-15 22:42:14

wow. that's pretty dramatic.

Would you say it was justified op? Where the issues that bad?

steppeinginto2015 Wed 11-Feb-15 22:46:52


were, I meant were, just a typo, I can spell really

ExactlyHowBad Wed 11-Feb-15 22:50:53

Potentially, I think it could be. You know what playgrounds are like, there's rumours flying everywhere about incidents and issues so it's hard to know what's true and what isn't. But even if just a few are true, some are definitely serious enough.

steppeinginto2015 Wed 11-Feb-15 22:55:45

I am just astonished that the school can go from outstanding to special measures in 4 years under the same head.

MaraThonbar Wed 11-Feb-15 23:02:53

Not much to add - you're quite right. It sounds like a complaint might have triggered the section 8 and if it has become a full section 5 then that suggests that they have found something very serious, possibly dangerous.

Is it a primary school? Academisation is a real possibility but it does depend on your local authority. Some are able to demonstrate capacity to improve and may be able to hang onto the school within their fold. A common measure is to place the school in federation with another, outstanding school, with an executive head overseeing both schools.

You will receive a letter from the lead inspector which will give you some information before the publication of the full report. Hope that you get some reassurance soon.

ExactlyHowBad Wed 11-Feb-15 23:03:13

If they'd been done under the new framework after Jan 2012 then I think they'd have been RI because of the changes in what HMI were looking at but they were done under the old one which was kinder. They just got lucky, imo.

I just don't know of any schools who've had a similar experience and was hoping someone on here might as it's a bigger pool of teachers to ask!

ExactlyHowBad Wed 11-Feb-15 23:07:58

Thanks Mara. It's Primary so acadamisation in some form seems to be pretty much the only only outcome.

The LA know about at least some of the issues because I know of parents who have approached them with issues but they haven;t dealt with anything. And they got a 4 for safeguarding in their last inspection so I doubt they'll be seen as having capacity to improve a school they've allowed to fall so far.

Feellikescrooge Thu 12-Feb-15 03:03:05

The only similar case I know of is a school in Bath about a year ago, the full inspection report was eventually withheld but the HT went. There were all sorts of rumblings but someone leaked the original report and they got 1's for achievement and teaching and 4's for leadership and safeguarding.

ExactlyHowBad Thu 12-Feb-15 09:08:05

Thank you, Feellike. I suspect this will be similar. I hope they don't withhold the report - was it the school or Ofsted that did that?
Did the DHT go as well?

chilephilly Thu 12-Feb-15 11:08:52

My school was given SM last year. HT was acting, new Head appointed before inspection, took up post shortly after SM. HMI approved of our action plan, so forced academy was avoided, but they do keep coming back.
OFSTED is very politicised: I think their role is to force more academies nowadays. If your DC's school does end up going down that road it could well be that the HT is forced to resign.

Feellikescrooge Thu 12-Feb-15 12:49:33

I gather there were all sorts of shenanigans about the report. The HT had been praised by Gove etc but in the end it was recalled but not until it had been published on an education website.

ExactlyHowBad Thu 12-Feb-15 16:43:56

Politicised indeed!! I can't believe they withheld it.

MaraThonbar Thu 12-Feb-15 20:18:38

That's a really weird one. I'm not surprised that they pulled it; it should be theoretically impossible for leadership to be outstanding if behaviour and safety is inadequate...

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