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Award-winning headteacher resigns after Ofsted inspection leaves her ‘devastated’

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Morninglover, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Is OfSTED 'fit for purpose'? Seems increasingly doubtful!

    ‘Unduly harsh’ accountability system is driving out school leaders, unions warn


    An award-winning headteacher has quit after an Ofsted inspection “extinguished” her passion for the job and left her feeling “powerless”.

    Lynne Fox, head of Bramhall High School near Stockport, will resign in the summer after the school was rated as “requires improvement” despite improving its GCSE results.

    In a heartfelt resignation letter to governors, Ms Fox said she had “lost her faith in the system” following the Ofsted inspection, and no longer wanted to face any more “poorly informed judgements”.
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Three year GCSEs are wrong in my opinion. Schools should not be allowed to give students three years to complete a GCSE. Seems OFSTED agree with me.
    The head has improved results by extending the time students have to complete GCSEs. This is unfair to the schools who deliver GCSEs in 2 years, as intended.
    JL48, roman_eagle and stonerose like this.
  3. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Well someone that's judging the school has got it wrong. I was curious to find out what award the HT had won, assuming it was with a different school but no;
    "Ms Fox won a silver award at the Pearson Teaching Awards last year for turning Bramhall High School around and securing “outstanding” results."
    Same school, same time... o_O
  4. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    "Three year GCSEs are wrong in my opinion."

    Indeed they are. They serious damage the breadth of education so well done to OFSTED for finally cracking down on Heads who know best. The OP's post is hysterical without asking why.

    I hope this serves as a warning to all schools.
    roman_eagle likes this.
  5. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    OFSTED spends years judging schools based purely on data. League tables put schools directly in competition with each other (for every school with positive progress there must be one with negative).

    OFSTED then decides that inspecting purely on results means some schools have focussed purely on results. OFSTED criticises schools for doing this.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I am no fan of OFSTED. I just agree with them on this one.
    Watch every school in England now replan for 2 year GCSEs and watch the pass rate drop like a stone.
  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Whilst I agree with you innprinciple it is going to be tricky to cover the entire new science curriculum in any depth at all in two years there is just too much content.
    greygaunt, Jamvic, maggie m and 2 others like this.
  8. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    So where has she been since...... 1992 ?
    Morninglover likes this.
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Yes, fair point.

    But if this is what happens even to successful HTs, how much pressure will other HTs (who may be quite insecure as regards OfSTED) put on their staff in the run up to inspections?
    Jamvic likes this.
  10. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I started my O levels ( ie gcse for younger viewers;)) at the beginning of year 9. (1968 Grammar School )

    Mind you even before the NC, options had to include at least 1 science, 1 humanities, a creative subject, an additional mfl, I suspect even with early ‘options’ my education was broader than that of many of today’s pupils
    Jamvic, agathamorse, maggie m and 4 others like this.
  11. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

    .......me too. It was a very limited 'choice' to ensure breadth when you applied for a job. My 'choice' between German and Economics was sealed for me because it was suggested to my parents that as I was already taking French, which I had studied for longer, was the foreign language requirement covered and as all of students were new to Economics it may be more straight forward.

    Don't remember being asked for my choice on the matter.:D If the subjects had been there then I would fancied Drama and/or Media Studies! My parents and teachers however would not.;)
    maggie m likes this.
  12. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    She was only successful because she played the system.
    GCSE is 120 hours of teaching.


    These are the subjects which are compulsory at key stage 3.
    I would suggest that the head in question ignored this requirement and she has been caught. Cannot see what she is complaining about.
  13. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Sorry - I do not understand why anyone should care how long or at what age anyone passes an exam. It is the personal achievement of the pupil that counts. I did A level fine art and A level photography in 1 year with decent grades. Some pupils re-take maths O levels 3 or 4 times in order to qualify for a career path they wish for. Ofsted are punishing heads that 'game' the system without considering whether the pupils are actually benefiting.
    VeronicAmb, TheoGriff, Jamvic and 2 others like this.
  14. WB

    WB Lead commenter

    This might not be the case with her but some heads seem to like the game when they're winning. They hate the game when they're losing.

    I would respect a head who said these things about OFSTED when they're school is flying high. I know for certain there are some heads who are like this.
    Jamvic, tenpast7, ajrowing and 3 others like this.
  15. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Well of course not. We were only 13 and obviously our parents knew best.

    I was given the choice of Art, Music or needlwork.
    My choice of Italian, Russian, or German came down to Dad saying, he though German was a good idea ( no idea why though)
    My choice of Chemistry, Physics or Biology was made by the school. Not sure why - possibly on test results.

    Can’t say, in the long run, that it made any difference to my success (or lack of) or my life course other than possibly enhancing it (I’d have gone for the teachers I liked, the subjects with least homework, the ones I found easiest , eg music)
  16. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    The system being fair, what a quaint idea.
    Is it fair that kids in leafy surburbia have private tutors paid for by rich parents?

    I am not sure that the system was ever fair. It has become more unfair, mainly due to endless politically motivated meddling and the sustained attack on the teaching profession via league tables and OFSTED.

    To criticise the head/school for focussing on results by extended GCSEs is like judging a decathlete on their running time alone and then criticising them for focusing solely on running faster. With exam results orientated school league tables and OFSTED judgements peoople should have expected exactly this would happen. I am surprised that it has taken so long. I think lots of UK schools are directing teachers to start prepping year 9 students for their core GCSE subjects, I can recall a UK HT saying this in the early 2000's. This gaming of the system is a big reason that people should stop looking at league tables to decide how good a school is.

    I do not value OFSTED's opinion.

    OFSTED needs to die before the education system in the UK can heal.
  17. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Long ago my school worked out that you could cover the KS3 curriculum in less than 3 years, so GCSE work was started during Y9. However no opting out of subjects until Y10. It worked fine.

    Very long ago my 3-form entry school, which was selective, had all the top form do O Level at the end of Y10, skip Y11 and therefore take A Level a year early. We were pushed to achieve and enjoyed the challenge; as far as I remember we all did well.

    I think the point I'm making is that you can maintain a broad curriculum and get good results: horses for courses.
    Jamvic, agathamorse and ajrowing like this.
  18. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    Given that Ofsted is only operative (sic) in England...
  19. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    The three year GCSE was the result of abolishing KS3 tests in year 9. As soon as these were stopped many schools started taking GCSE modules in year 9 and repeating at regular intervals until the end of year 11. Gove may have done enormous harm to education but at least he put a stop to that.

    KS3 tests were abolished in 2008. Why have OFSTED suddenly started penalising schools twelve years later?
    Jamvic likes this.
  20. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    Presumably she had the support of her Governing Body when she altered things to offer 3-year GCSEs ?
    Jamvic likes this.

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