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Just been inspected under the new framework...

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by Baggy1980, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. We were inspected 2 weeks ago and it was awful!!!!! I've never been inspected before and to be honest, after this experience, I never want to be inspected again!
    We are a tiny village school with only 45 on roll so obviously our results are going to be a hit a miss, e.g. last years yr 6 only had 4 kids and 2 of those had severe special needs! We also had a really tough time last yr as I was new to the school and EYFS, the other teacher was only just out of her NQT year and we had an acting head who was vile and enjoyed nothing more than putting all the staff down and making our lives hell! We've had a fantastic new head who will, if given time, really turn the school round. However, she was in post 3 weeks and then we got the call.
    TBF the inspector was lovely and she was only doing her job but she was being really picky.
    I only have a small group of Reception this yr, in a mixed R/1/2 class, but was told I was planning TOO MUCH free choice and free flow even though I have the 20% directed time and 80% independent time recorded and monitored, and becuase its a mixed class the ratio is probably closer to 40%:60%! Apparently I shouldnt have set out so many activities inside and outside for the children even tho there were only 6 in and 6 out covering the 6 areas of EYFS! I'm sure if all the areas hadn't been covered i'd have been in trouble for that! I'm also apparently not making enough progress, even tho my yr 2's last yr got 75% across the board including some level 3's (with a cohort of only 4), the year 1's all went from 'working towards' to 1b - 2c, and the Reception all achieved at least point 7 across the board, some even getting 9's!
    I had a lesson observation (with feedback) and unfortunately it was one of those lessons where everything seems to go wrong, but i was doing things how i've been told by LEA and former heads so i'm not sure who to blame for that 1! It was even more annoying as the morning we got the Ofsted call I'd had a lesson obs by the head which was deemed to be 'good'. My big piece of advice is when receiving feedback from the inspector stand up for yourself, i wish i had!
    The most annoying thing now is that we still havent received a report, draft or otherwise, even though we know we're in big trouble it's hard to strat putting things in place because we dont want to target the wrong thing! We might have to wait 3 more weeks!
    When we got the minimal amount of feedback we could from our SIP, we were told that Ofsted were being exceptionally hard becuse it was a new framework and the inspectors need to prove they're doing it properly so basically if we'd had the inspection next term they'd probably be more lenient and we wouldnt be put into a category!
    P.S. quite a few posts are mentioing safeguarding which is possibly the only thing we actually got praised for and we're not really OTT with it so i'd have thought most schools would be fine, but we were told that that was a major focus! Also there were no subject co-ordinator interviews but that could be because we are only a small school and they only sent 1 inspector who obviously had lots to do!
  2. Aphrodite, I may be following you to the dole queue!!
    My (secondary) school is preparing itself for the new-style inspections, but I'm seriously wondering if I'll stay around for any more inspections. From what I've read here tonight, common sense (and common courtesy!) no longer applies to teaching - or at least to the inspection of teachers. I have been suspicious for some time now, that NO leeway is given for the fact that we teach human beings - not objects - and that WE are human, too.
    The most depressing post was the one which said the inspector was o.k. but HAD to nit-pick!!
    I now have to go and find something to occupy my brain sufficiently to stop worrying about this so I can get some sleep tonight.

  3. Know the feeling well. We had less than 24 hours notice and three inspectors in a school with only three full time members of staff including the head. It was two days rather than the previous one day. Although we came out good with outstanding features, the same as 2 years ago, we feel as if we failed. The governors were really criticised over safeguarding and monitoring despite being a good governing body. One member of staff summed it up when she said it felt more like an audit than Ofsted. Parents' questionnaires are also being taken as gospel and one stroppy one is all it takes to lower a grade. All the outstanding grades had to be argued for and when it was pointed out to the lead inspector that he hadn't given any opportunity to discuss the strengths of the school he said "I know all about that, that's not what I'm looking for." Just about sums it up really
  4. totally agree with all this!
    watch out too as they have changed the lesson gradings!

    basically if you got good before it will now be satisfactory etc etc

    good luck everyone and beware you will need decent recovery time
  5. There is a great sickness in education at the moment. This sickness is an obsession with systems and data collection at the expense of true education.

    I have just returned from work after what I suspect is a stress related illness. I know of no one in the profession who is enjoying their job. No one who feels valued, no one who is not trying to leave the profession.
    Managements across the country seem to be automatons for this new regime, soulless and with little concern with education other than the collection of data and the implementation of whatever new initiative is spouted out by those whose existence depend upon the creation of new initiatives.
    I have been teaching for many years now and have seen the true levels of achievement go down year by year, whilst false levels of achievement are given whatever new label is current (outstanding, good, **** - or whatever they are this week). What is more that data is often misleading and just plain wrong, or fails to take reality into account, as many have pointed out - but it is data so we must all kneel before the shrine; unquestioningly. If a system has it's own internal logic, that system, no matter how 'unfit for purpose' (to throw one of their slanderous terms back at them), will hold together.
    We have lost some very important truths along the way:
    ? People work better when they feel valued.
    ? Positive reinforcement yields true results. Threatening and negative motivation lead to a lowering of moral, lack of respect and interest.
    ? Education is about enabling and empowering; working to liberate the potential that is inherently there in the child. Education is not about collecting data that denies the existence of the individual.
    ? Education happens when people are happy.
    ? Education happens when people feel valued.
    ? Education happens when people feel safe (and I am not talking about filling out loads of H&S paperwork as a way of insuring this!).

    We know we are doing well, in education, at work, in life by how happy and contented we feel. When was the last time you met a happy and contented teacher?

    All of us (still) working in the profession know what is wrong and can see where it is all heading.
    I think we all have some understanding why it is happening - and if not clear on this point, we all know that it is not to the long term benefit of education.

    The real question is, what do we do about it?

    One option is to leave the profession. It is viable option taken by many. This may be a good personal choice, but it does not heal the sickness at the core of the system.

    As someone pointed out, we need to fight back. We need to make our case known and the Unions need a coordinated approach in this. We need to inform the general public, we need to publicise our arguments.
    We need to be vocal, to stand up and be counted. We need to be heard at all levels, through demonstration, through the media and through political channels.

    We need to remove fear. To not allow fear to motivate u in our day to day dealiingss. To ignore any negatively motivated strategy.
    We need to refuse to be spanked any longer. (Honestly, we have not been all that naughty) .

    We need to ignore the negative and learn again to embrace the positive. We need to bring joy, self-respect and dignity back into the profession, back into our own lives.

    We need to meet, to be seen to be meeting. We need to discuss our fears and problems, and not just to each other. We need to be seen to be biting back.

    Do you rate Ofsted as:
    1. Outstanding
    2. Satisfactory
    3. Inadequate

    Ofsted tell me that I am the most worthless human being that ever walked the Earth. They are wrong. I ignore them.

    BTW - while I am at it, can we return to using whole words again please?
  6. Sorry about the awful formating on my post - it looked fine until I hit the post button. hope you can all read it!
  7. Satisfactory, your post is brilliant.

    It mirrors my experience almost exactly.

    I now work in the independent sector. I feel a traitor to my class, my upbringing and all the ideals I was brought up with but I could not stay in the sate sector as it is.

    It is so sad.
  8. [My big piece of advice is when receiving feedback from the inspector stand up for yourself, i wish i had!]

    I'd endorse this. It's so easy to feel intimidated especially at the end of the day when you're tired and anxious about feedback. After our inspection in July, I was told that he couldn't fault the one ICT lesson that had been observed: the children were learning well, on task, lesson well planned etc. However, because some children took a few extra minutes to come back together (some computers decided not to function properly for saving, even tho' I'd tested them beforehand), he could only give satisfactory. It was very hot, I had an extra-curricular club waiting and I just wanted him to go away so I said nothing but, having had outstanding, excellent and very goods in three previous inspections, I felt pretty irritated.
  9. Shall we all set up mini units of good quality teaching all over the country? Communicate and swap expertise and support from time to time. Am I correct in believing that 5 children and less is not classified as a school, thereby able to fly under the despot radar ?
  10. I really feel for you it sounds as if it was really awful. Am awaiting the call for our school any time now. Rather wish it was over and done with... all this waiting. At least you can move forward now and that at least is a blessing..?!
  11. We were inspected 2 weeks ago and it was the longest and most stressful two days of my life! (i still feel exhausted from it!) We were previously inspected in June 2007 so were expecting OFSTED to come in the summer term! I teach in a first school.
    The inspectors came across as 'very nice' but were very shrewd! They weren't happy that we hadn't finished the new SEF so they had the old SEF. They looked a lot at data, they didn't focus on who had achieved, they looked at who hadn't. they were looking at levels at end of KS1 to end of Year 4 and wanted to know why cetain children hadn't made 2sub-levels of progrss. although when tried to explian they didn't really take much notice.
    Although i have targets up in my room and interactive displays-they don't look at these. they want to see progress within a lesson. make sure children know their objective/target for the lesson and talk about the <u>success criteria</u>. when working with a group reinforce what you are looking for and how you're going to get there, ensure TAs know this too. they like mini-plenaries.
    The one (and only) good thing about the lead inspector was he bought an extra inspector in, who had experience in the FS as he felt he didn't know enough to make judgements.

    We really had to fight in thge SMT meeting with the inspectors. we had outstanding and good in quite a few areas but satisfactory in attainment at KS2 and therefore satisfactory overall! (which means they will be back in 2 years!!!!!) we still haven't had the draft report either. We also had a seperate inspector in to look at safeguarding and paper work in the office-for half a day.
    We were graded good in our previous inspection. he said our school had completly changed since the last inspection (i think not) and at the end of the 1st day he said we weren't getting better than satisfactory overall!

    they also look at attendance and wanted to know what was being done to prevent children from going on holidays!

    I can't wait for half term so that i can forget about this experience! good luck to those that have one soon!


    MINNIEPOPPY New commenter

    I started this reply in a negative mode~ after reading all your replies re OFSTED ~but after eating my evening meal @ 9:50pm I have decided differently.
    BECAUSE --------------------------
    We are the ONLY ones who know the hours we spend planning, targeting, assessing, marking etc.
    AND we also know what DEDICATION means ~(unlike OFSTED and our UNIONS!)- am I beginning to sound negative again??
    Just think <u>every night</u>~ as you turn the light out around 12+midnightish~
    "My children ARE learning. I AM SUCCEEDING in bringing SAFETY, SECURITY, KNOWLEDGE, INSPIRATION into the children I teach/love and understand. I AM SUCCESSFUL as a PROFESSIONAL (whatever anyone else says) and I will NOT BE PUT DOWN. I will continue along the <u>same</u> lines because I KNOW it works for each INDIVIDUAL child and my teaching is paramount for our future and THEIRS. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  13. Am waiting for the call,now quietly petrified after reading all these posts!am FS leader-new to job-don't do daily or weekly risk assessment.can't get any help from head etc.PLEASE can someone post a risk assessment I can use as very scared i'll fail otherwise.many thanks.
  14. A rather obtuse observation - and one for which I anticipate a heated
    exchange coupled to oodles of critique:-

    Perhaps if the educators on this site could spell (or be bothered to spell) a little better:

    • "depravation" (deprivation),
    • "comaprable" (comparable),
    • "Oftsted" (Ofsted),

    and used appropriately constructed sentences:

    then maybe the schools having trouble with literacy skills, et al, might not find themselves in
    their current predicament!!!?

    And it's not just one contributor which deserves being singled out either:

    • "alot" (a lot)
    • "achieveing" (achieving)
    • "I'am" (I'm or I am)
    • "comitted"
    • "phonecall" (phone call)
    • "anyday" (any day)
    • "unanounced"
    • "december" (December)
    • "collegue" (colleague)
    • "Inspecion"
    • "cuople" (couple)
    • "miiror" (mirror)
    Finally, a period is
    usually followed by a couple of spaces ... or at least one!
    And these are just the errors contained within this thread!!! [Yes, I know, I've committed the unforgivably Kafka-esque sin of starting a sentence with a conjunction! But, isn't it all just a bit arbitrary? Oops! - Ed.]
    I know I'll be accused by some of being a pedant - and that's fine - and it's more than likely that I'll be 'flamed' and accused of being much, MUCH worse for daring to adopt a critical stance ... but t<font face="Arial" size="2">hese aren't all accidental mistakes or innocuous typos borne of a tolerant '</font><font face="Arial" size="2">Internet generation</font><font face="Arial" size="2">'; and, even if they were, so what? </font>
    <font face="Arial" size="2">This entire site is chock full of 'em and we're meant to know better! What sort of an example does this set? And before anyone points out that this is a site for educators, I'll let y'all into a little secret: some of my students come here for lesson material to replace the crud a few of my colleagues dish up year-in, year-out!
    <font face="Arial" size="2">Simply put: </font>What hope is there if people continue to
    accept and/or propagate such abject sloppiness? I think there's an age-old adage about putting one's
    own house in order first and I, for one, believe in strong foundations.
    Call me old-fashioned but don't ignore an underlying problem and blame Ofsted for being insidiously fastidious ... if you can't spell - or be bothered to spell - either "insidious" or "fastidious" correctly! Trust me when I say my only concern is for our students. As adults we ought to be able to take care of ourselves.
    Ho hum ... let the onslaught begin.

    Lynne Truss - isn't she just everyone's anti-hero!?
  15. Wow, someone called the Grammar police and they sure arrived with much ado.
  16. If you have any looked after kids you're screwed if your files are not in order. Especially if other agencies are involved.
    In your planning don't forget to use IEPs IBPs ILPs and differentiate accordingly. They love to see differentiated teaching and learning through your planning.
  17. Having been on a competency procedure for two years, and one breakdown and two formal grievances against my former Head later, I find that the thought of OFSTED's imminent arrival makes me merely a bit more alert than usual.

    Call it wartime mentality if you will. If they want you to succeed they will let you know what they want to see. If they don't.........need I say more?

    Just imagine them naked when they march in with their "I haven't been on a full timetable in years" clipboards. They are only people and you either know what you are doing or will soon. We seem to have an inspection regime that thinks you get the best out of people by scaring them. But fear, like deciding to be a bully, can be a choice.

    And to the grammar Nazi: wouldn't your time be better spent asking police officers why they don't go after the real criminals? At least they can hit you.
  18. Own house in order? How about taking some tablets for ellipses
    diarrhea. My goodness ... you ... have ... used ... them ... in ...
    places ... unknown ... to ... grammarians ... anywhere...

    Now, back to the subject at hand:

    Our inspection is probably right around the corner, and as a classroom teacher without senior management responsibility, I feel so helpless. I will do my best in the classroom, but a lot of the other stuff is out of my hands.

    To all those preparing or recovering, my thoughts and best wishes are with you.
  19. Hi,
    Things don't sound good with another NEW OFSTED experience for us to suffer. Thanks for all the advice posted.
    Hoping the economic climate will get rid of these overpaid ex teachers/ heads.who think they know best. Well it would save money ! I have met some human Ofsted sorts, but we cannot afford to waste precious tax payers money.
    The best model in my humble experience was the advisory support teams.
    OFSTED would have a little more street cred if they came into a school and did some team teaching with us for a month. Model the way they think it should be done.
    Not just talk, but walk the walk so to speak. Perhaps they could even help with the development of schools. Shared minds etc. Give a broader view ~ that might be really useful.
    I estimated 7 levels of accountabilty prior to Ofsted. Do we need them ~ NO !
    How many times have OFSTED changed this Inspection Model ~ do they really have any idea how to get the best out of teachers and schools so children enjoy learning and are not made to feel like products of a very flawed system. I would like parents ( Most teachers are ) heads, LEAs, MPs & our Unions to get rid of them now.
    They truly hinder innovation, creativity, independent thought and learning.
    I was a better teacher prior to the National Curriculum etc as I had time to teach and the energy to continually inspire. ( Well I thought I did sometimes )
    What sort of Education system is based on a climate of fear. Not a very happy or productive one that truly maximises potential and opportunity.
    Be happy, Peter ( A Classroom teacher for 33 years )

  20. We were Ofsteded 2 weeks ago and it was a horrible experience. They went in all guns blazing on the first day with most people's moral rock bottom, however, on the 2nd day, things were brighter and some of the comments made on the first day were not necessarily true. They had a hidden agenda as our cohort the previous year were poorer so we had a dip in results in KS2. Being in one of the Yr 5/6 classes, I thought that I would be observed more than others, however, I had 30 minutes one day and registration the next day. I also didn't get my feedback from the first day until the day after in which I made the male head inspector cry!!! They could just see how bad the moral had become, I completely doubted myself despite never having bad observations or Ofsteds and they could also see that we were all under so much pressure and being pregnant I told them that the job was becoming unmanageable, unrealistic and effecting home life a lot. Showed they were human after all. Overall the goal posts have moved again and it is harder to get higher grades for the whole school. Results, in our case, mattered a lot, and that was all that they were really interested in. The classroom observations gradings were fair and it is possible to get higher grades there. Just remember that they can't sack you lol!!!

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