The Ofsted Report

Instructions for talking to me about the Ofsted

  •  Tip your head to one side
  • Look down then up (the Princess Diana look)
  • Suck in your lower lip and say
  •  “I’m really sorry to hear that?”

 Yep, the report that I talked about here has been written and all the parents and teachers got advanced copies.  Worse it could possibly be.  It’s in special measures, which is now called “Inadequate”.

 Whenever I’ve heard of schools being in Special Measures I’ve imagined a school full of vigilantes, teachers smoking in the corner of the classroom, unruly behaviour, terrible grades and a school falling apart.  Our school could not be further from this if you tried.  It is a lovely school with kind, supportive teachers and very very happy well-behaved children.  OfstedIt was just unlucky that the framework changed and our school has had an inspection right at the start of it.  Throw in the fact our headmaster had been with the school for over 20 years and you really do have the recipe for “how to fail an Ofsted”.  I imagine there are some headteachers out there who have a curriculum they can pull out the bag in a days notice ready for inspections, but our school isn’t like that.  It’s a straight forward, no-nonsense school who isn’t going to pretend it’s anything but. 

 Obviously, I’m not excusing the failure. Things could definitely have been done and clearly some of the teachers have let things slip, moved their eye off the ball.  It’s a shame that one of the biggest failures was a lack of the school to create separate areas in the classroom for differing pupils abilities.  This was cited from Years 3 to 6.  Yet, myself and several of the other parents said it was seeing this on our walk around the school that made us choose it.  Was it an “off” day?  Clearly.  It also failed on interaction in the classroom, something else that I’ve seen on various occasions.

 Thankfully Reception came out Outstanding, which I would have been surprised if it hadn’t.  Pickle is learning so much and enjoying it a lot and her teacher is amazing, so I’m glad that that was recognised. 

They’ve already done so much since last term, since the school learnt just days after the inspection that they had done so badly.  Our head teacher retired as he had wanted to back in December, a new interim headteacher has been bought in with an Ofsted background and we have had a maths specialist appointed, curriculum moved about, extra teacher training days, a complete stop to all leave during school hours and various other changes.  I’m feeling positive about things now.  As many teachers I’ve talked to have said that it’s a bit of a blessing to get a score like this so early in my daughter’s learning.  The borough will chuck a lot of money and expertise at the problem to bring it up to scratch and Pickle will benefit from that as she moves up the school.  Of course, most of my teacher friends are not big fans of Ofsted anyway.  Constantly moving the goal posts and it being a box ticking exercise rather than a real reflection of the school.

 I have to agree. The school I know is very different to the one in the report.  Thankfully, there were some good points raised.  Good relationship between pupils and teachers.  Teachers and Pupils having pride for their school and pupils enjoying school and feeling safe and important there.  That to me is one of the most important things about a primary school and I’m glad they picked up on it.

 So, what am I doing about this report?  Absolutely nothing.  I’m not embarrassed about it but I’m glad things have been pointed out and improved and I will fully support the school in improving its results.  My daughter is happy and loves school and I wouldn’t for a second pull her out of this sort of environment.

 So you can take your head tilt and condescending words and shove off!   🙂

 

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About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at www.freefallinginto.com . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at www.ourmovetothecountry.wordpress.com
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9 Responses to The Ofsted Report

  1. francespringle says:

    Well done you! There’s nothing worse than parents flapping about an Ofsted report when they were perfectly happy before hand. Any one who has worked in education knows that Ofsted is about jumping through hoops. You don’t jump, you don’t get on. It’s a 50/50 gamble on whether it reflects teaching and learning at the school. Glad Pickle loves her school – that is immeasurable by any government criteria!

  2. Michelle Woodward says:

    As a teacher, it is very reassuring to see someone saying this. I am lucky that my school did very well in our inspection, which was just after they moved the goalposts (again), but I know of several other schools that have suffered like yours. Ofsted are ridiculous and don’t know what they’re talking about. They expect children to be robots who all have the same reactions and make progress at the same rates and times.

    I’m sure the teachers at your child’s school would feel a lot better if they read this. It’s a sucky place to be, and they need all the support they can get. Good luck to you all!

  3. hitmanharris says:

    I read a report last week about the rise in the number of families who have private tutors for their children and how this is fed by parents in your situation being pressured into panicking. I hope more people can look beyond Ofsted reports and have faith in our schools. My son has only just turned one so he hasn’t got further than nursery yet but I hope that when he does start school I can evaluate his choices with the same clarity and balance as you have.

  4. Pingback: Tuesday Treats | dorkymum

  5. motherwifeme says:

    Ahead of us having to make the ‘big decision’ about which school to send our currently three year old to, it’s refreshing to read a post that highlights hope beyond the Ofsted report. I guess gut feel when you visit a school needs to be part of the decision making process.

    • Definitely ask parents, read things online, visit the school and talk to teachers. I feel sad that I may have ignored this school based on this Ofsted and it really is a lovely school.

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