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DFE Visit - should I be concerned?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by jellytot5, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. I have been informed by our LA that the DFE will be visiting my school next term, but have been given very little information. I am assuming that this has something to do with the Academy agenda as we have been sig- on Raise for years. However we have improved steadily over the 4 years I have been there and Ofsted have graded us as 1 or 2 in every area except attainment.
    Just wondering what everyone thinks and if anyone else is expecting (or has had) a visit.
     
  2. I have been informed by our LA that the DFE will be visiting my school next term, but have been given very little information. I am assuming that this has something to do with the Academy agenda as we have been sig- on Raise for years. However we have improved steadily over the 4 years I have been there and Ofsted have graded us as 1 or 2 in every area except attainment.
    Just wondering what everyone thinks and if anyone else is expecting (or has had) a visit.
     
  3. It could well be, since 'the weakest 200' primaries are on the cards to be forced to be academies. The DfE use consistently low attainment as the main benchmark as far as I can tell from other schools who have had the DfE visit. Some of these schools have indeed been graded 2 by Ofsted.
     
  4. I think it probably is the start of a move to force you to become an academy.
    Your LA should tell you. If they know you are getting a visit, they will know why. The process starts with a phone call from DfE to Chief Education Officer (or whatever he is called in your area) telling them the target and purpose of the visit.
    My advice; get onto your union ASAP. If you are in NAHT call your Regional Officer. In some cases these good folks have managed to send the DfE officials away with a flea in their ears.
     
  5. My school received the phone call in June. You can successfully fight the order if your school has not been below floor targets for the last 5 or10 (depends who you talk to!) years. My Governors are selecting our sponsor next week. I have seen the whole process change over the last 6 months and I almost think they are making it up as they go along! Please feel free to contact me if you want more details. Beware of the some of the Unions - they terrified my staff with stories and tales that were unfounded and based on Academy Conversions as opposed to Sponsored Academies, when they fully understood the difference between a Conversion and a Sponsored they backed off!!
     
  6. Thanks for this.
    I met with LA officers today who denied that this has anything to do with academies, so now I'm even more confused.
    All I can do is show my school in its best light and prepare for the visit. No point in worrying when I don't even know for sure. Just another chapter in my headship!!
     
  7. So what is the purpose of the visit?
     
  8. I agree with your previous post - it is more than likely going to be about conversion. However I would rather feel positive and hope for the best. Very little I can do about it
     
  9. If you are 1 or two in everything accept attainment, then you must be above floor targets in progress, if you were not and had been that way for 3 or 4 years you would be in special measures.
    I should presume that the DFE will not be coming to force you into anything, as Gove has said that progress is what's important. and, god forgive me, I agree with him! We really do have to do something about these coasting schools and phases that see the% of children gaining expected maths and english levels falling from the previous phase.
     
  10. Actually we're a 3 for progress and a 4 for attainment. We came out of Notice To Improve in January 2011. We've made great improvements from a position when I arrived 4 years ago of dire achievement, poor teaching etc. Had almost complete turnover of staff, behaviour now good and last Ofsted gave us 2 for every area of L+M. EYFS was 1 in every area (2 for achievement). We're just not quite there yet with achievement - this year we will be.
     

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