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What do school staff think when their school goes down from Ofsted Good to Requires Improvement?

(39 Posts)
MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 16:48:09

Just wondering how badly morale is affected? Do most teachers take it to heart/seriously or are they just too busy trying to keep their heads above water to get worked up about it?

OP’s posts: |
Mishappening Fri 15-Mar-19 16:50:12

The distinction is often very small and over details rather than important things. Most teachers (and indeed parents) know it is all a pointless game and just get on with life.

GlossyTaco Fri 15-Mar-19 16:53:07

We were totally deflated when it happened at a school I worked at as a teaching assistant.

We then had to have two inspections each half term until the school was awarded their good rating. He pressure was immense.

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 16:56:52

Oh good! I'm "just" a parent but am so passionate about our lovely school and the wonderful staff that I feel sorry for them.

The letter says they need to look at the leadership team processes, evaluating pupil progress, how well the governing body monitor how well the school is performing and spending funds.

So sounds more like red tape things than actual teaching?

OP’s posts: |
donquixotedelamancha Fri 15-Mar-19 17:02:12

Our school is a good. It is the worst school I've ever worked at.

Ofsted come in with a couple of people for just over a day. They mostly look at the 'evidence' the school puts in its SEF and exam results. We are good at producing 'evidence'.

Ofsted is now meaningless, they have no money to properly investigate schools. If the school is good, ignore the grade.

Rathkelter Fri 15-Mar-19 17:11:22

I work in an 'Outstanding' school and the behaviour in the corridors of obscene; there's persistent low-level chat in lessons, disrupting flow and plenty of arrogance and back chat. Frankly I can't understand how it could be rated as it is. So, in other words, the rankings don't mean anything.

Lwmommy Fri 15-Mar-19 17:16:41

Having worked in education and been through Ofsted albeit not in a school the whole thing is a total waste of energy.

If the school had a good folder of evidence, are prepped on what to say and what to avoid and have a nice paper trail they get good results.

The inspectors have such a limited remit and time allowance that what they see if often not representative of the truth

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 20:03:35

Thanks for confirming what I suspected. I hope the staff there know that it's not worth the paper it's written on.

OP’s posts: |
EvilTwins Fri 15-Mar-19 20:35:18

It's tricky. I was in a school that was RI for ages (we were also SM for a bit) and generally, the feeling was a bit "oh fuck" Not because we felt it was right but because we were well aware of the increase in workload as a result. All very well to know it's not worth the paper it's written on, but the hoops that have to be jumped through, the evidence that has to be generated, the extra paperwork and so on is huge. That's what has an impact on staff wellbeing - not what it says on the piece of paper.

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 21:22:33

Oh ok, I had no idea about all the extra paperwork sad Do you think there is anything I can do to help? I'm a DBS cleared school helper with lots of office experience. Do you think it's worth me asking the Head?

OP’s posts: |
cauliflowersqueeze Fri 15-Mar-19 21:25:33

Probably not worth asking at the moment if it’s just happened. Leave it a few weeks.

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 21:29:19

Ok, will do smile

OP’s posts: |
Heyha Fri 15-Mar-19 21:31:26

OP how lovely to see a parent being so supportive of the school 🙂 hopefully with the areas that need to improve there won't be too much extra pressure on the staff (if it had been teaching and learning or outcomes then that becomes very horrible very quickly, for a time) so it shouldn't see many leaving if they are otherwise fairly happy. I'm sure an email or chat with someone on the leadership team would get passed on to staff showing your support, I know in our school any nice messages from parents or the community get shared in briefing.

Ofsted is a shambles anyway, this school should have got a good when it was inspected about 10 years ago but didn't because the lead inspector was...well, they've been struck off now so you see what I mean. Then the next time it DID get good but in most people's opinions shouldn't have done...it is definitely good now though and we are waiting for Ofsted to come and tell us as much, or not.

cauliflowersqueeze Fri 15-Mar-19 21:38:20

Evaluating pupil progress is big. Suggests their formative and summative assessment procedures are not working well. And if those are working well then the teaching and learning is not being correctly directed.

DrDreReturns Fri 15-Mar-19 21:55:20

I didn't understand a word of that cauliflower.

cauliflowersqueeze Fri 15-Mar-19 22:16:54

Last sentence should say “if those are not working well”

BrigitsBigKnickers Fri 15-Mar-19 22:18:47

My DDs went to an "outstanding" primary school. One DD was very well supported the other not so much... nurture was hugely lacking and the extra curricular stuff was very elitist ( huge praise for school orchestra populated by 11 cellos taught by private tutor- my DDs laid no hand on so much of a tambourine in there four years in the junior school...)
I on the other hand worked in an RI school where every child had the opportunity to have weekly music lessons and the chance to join the orchestra and choir. Hugely nurturing environment where every child was

BrigitsBigKnickers Fri 15-Mar-19 22:20:28

Sorry posted too soon
...
every child was valued.
If I had worked closer to home I would have chosen the school where I worked without hesitation.

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 22:20:52

I'll definitely drop them an email next week then telling them how awesome I think they are and to let me know if there's anything else I can do (already on the PTA and listen to readers every week).

I didn't understand cauliflowersqueeze's post entirely either ! Basically if they're not assessing pupil progress correctly it could mean the teaching isn't being done right?

The Head has been there over 10 years and this is the first RI as far as I know.

OP’s posts: |
CamilleDesmoulins Fri 15-Mar-19 22:24:19

MontyBowJangles Let the school know how much you value them. I have been through this situation and the support of the parents was a huge help.

tilder Fri 15-Mar-19 22:27:10

Our school was good. The exam results were shocking and was downgraded. Lots of noise about improvements (but no information on results) and it is now good again.

It's still shocking. Discipline is appalling and so are results. Several families have pulled out.

Imo Ofsted had no actual impact.

cauliflowersqueeze Fri 15-Mar-19 22:29:53

If they are unable to assess where students are not progressing properly then they are not going to be able to direct their teaching correctly. Evaluating learning is the key to knowing where to target teaching. Sorry if I wasn’t very clear - loooong week.

Your idea to send a supportive email is really nice. They will be feeling so down. And very stressed about the endless ofsted visits looming. They will also not be able to recruit NQTs which will affect recruitment. And staff will look elsewhere because they can’t bear the hassle of it all. The recruitment period is just starting now really so teachers will be scanning the TES for a more attractive option, unless the leadership is such that they all feel inspired to pull together. Really testing times for them all.

likeafishneedsabike Fri 15-Mar-19 22:51:20

The rating means bugger all. I worked at an 'outstanding' school where pupils physically intimidated staff on a daily basis. Someone there knew how to shuffle the paperwork correctly to satisfy ofsted. The rating had no bearing on pupil or staff wellbeing, both of which were very poor.

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 22:52:40

Thanks for all the insight and tips - glad I started the thread now.

cauliflowersqueeze sorry you've had a long week! Hope you have a restful weekend ahead to make up for it smile So I guess in layman's terms what you're saying is if the school is failing to see if/how much a pupil is progressing in each area, they won't be able to focus on what they need the most help with? That makes sense.

I really hope no more staff leave; two long-standing (as in 15yrs plus) senior members of staff left last year and another is due to go on mat leave. It's such a lovely little school. They have an NQT at the moment...let's hope this hasn't put her off teaching for life!

Hate Ofsted even more after this sad Sounds like the whole system needs overhauling. If they were rating the school on happiness levels, being nurtured and not tested (it's an Infants) and really took on board parents' views (I'm unsure how much weight, if any, the ParentView survey holds) then it would definitely be Outstanding!

OP’s posts: |
Heyha Fri 15-Mar-19 22:55:38

RI schools can recruit NQTs just not schools in categories.
My school was in 'serious weakness' in old money when I applied (though not an NQT!) and it didn't put me off as I could see what had gone on and what was coming up. It was a satisfactory within 6 months which still wasn't a great score but it was the best it's ever been to work there during that period. We are getting back there again though thankfully.

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