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How do you recognise a 'good' school?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by creaganturic, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I was feeling uneasy about this thread but this post made me realise why.

    I ONLY WORK AT THE RUBBISH SCHOOLS, they are desperate to get bodies in front of the kids and acutely aware that, as supply, I'm likely to clear off if too much carp comes my way. Also they pay much more for the half-decentness that I can offer.

    Mrs C is raving about working at a nice school (as a TA) at the moment but all I'm thinking is that she's getting peanuts rather than rejoicing in her happiness.
     
  2. creaganturic

    creaganturic New commenter

    Spot on!
     
  3. creaganturic

    creaganturic New commenter

    I would love to see Staff wellbeing being part of an OFSTED inspection, with judgements made accordingly. Many 'outstanding' schools would not make the grade.
     
  4. creaganturic

    creaganturic New commenter

    "staff turnover rate is the best way to assess a school as a potential place to work. High staff turnover? Employ several proverbial barge poles...."

    I completely agree with this statement by englishtt06
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  5. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    Are you in Liverpool by any chance? Or maybe it's a nationwide feature!
     
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Not in Liverpool - not even close.

    I can actually think of two schools like that and they are actually only a few miles from each other.

    If you want to see how good a school is then stand in any corridor at break and watch how the kids behave.

    If you had stood in ours about this time last year you would have been appalled.

    Now it's much better.
     
    gemfrome, agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    Yes, but that's only part of it, for me.

    IMO, a really good school is one which doesn't feel too hierarchical for staff, but the kids know exactly who's boss. My current school (not a very pleasant area) is lovely to teach in - great kids, if a bit passive; lovely behaviour; just sparky enough to be fun - but a lot less lovely to be managed in.

    SLT are skewed towards PE, with only one core subject teacher on the team. They're very hot on holding staff minutely accountable for the tiniest mistake, while being very defensive about (or, more likely, denying the existence of) their own screw-ups, which are legion. Managing down is universal; managing up is not tolerated. Staff who are deemed early on to be "no good" (usually on the basis of a 2 minute "learning walk") have their card marked in a way that's very hard to escape, but if you're on the Special Golden Team of Favourites, you can do what you want, including getting terrible results year-on-year in a way which would be career-ending for the mere mortals. Illustration: the DHT - it turned out after appointment - is bessie mates of long standing with the HT. This person has made a right disastrous fist of every single area of their responsibility. Nothing will ever happen as a consequence, and we all know it.

    I don't say this out of bitterness: my teaching and results are well-regarded, and I'm safe for now. But I don't kid myself that the minute I turn up to my LM meeting without having "actioned" every "action" in triplicate, I won't feel the fire licking my feet. Meanwhile the line manager in question, who is very senior, can get away with murder. It doesn't feel great.
     
  8. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    How do you recognise a 'good' school?


    There is usually a banner on the fence saying "This is a good school". Strangely I have never seen a banner saying "This school requires improvement".
     
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @gainly: An excellent point. If the school has a banner on its fence proclaiming it to be 'outstanding', or an 'Investors in People' logo, beware.
     
  10. SparkMaths

    SparkMaths Established commenter

    As a supply teacher, usually the less organised the supply work is, the better the school is.

    So this term:
    • The school which gave me a school map and "do page X of textbook Y" meant that I had a day of very enjoyable lessons and I did lots of work teaching things on the non interative whiteboard.
    • The school which gave me detailed school policies and full lesson plans with powerpoints meant that I had a day managing behaviour and teaching very little. I don't think those detailed powerpoints got read either.
    The good schools also tend to have some sort of exit interview with the person in charge of supply to find out how it went and resolve any potential behaviour issues, in those cases I have very little to say. The other schools tend to have the receptionist organise you and have you just walk out at the end, in those cases I have lots of things to say!

    Of course these are not hard and fast rules and I've experienced exceptions, but it's interesting how often this pattern appears.
     
  11. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I've worked in a huge range of schools- trained in one of the top achieving in the country, most recent job was in a RI. Did a maternity cover last summer in a high achieving independent.

    One thing I'm always wary is of lots of young staff. Departments with more than one NQT; gone are the days when you could have one NQT in a department, maximum. I just think that that sends a strong message. And these NQTs seem to think 70 hour weeks are sustainable!
     
  12. creaganturic

    creaganturic New commenter

    Spot on!
     
  13. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    I ask myself 3 things:

    1. Do staff and students look happy?
    2. Do the students behave?
    3. Do the mangers have a brain?
     
  14. notrevlim

    notrevlim Established commenter

    These aren't SLT [​IMG]
     
    ATfan likes this.
  15. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    This is because you can’t polish a turd, but you can cover it in glitter.
    Still a turd though.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and JohnJCazorla like this.

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