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Just been inspected under the new framework...

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

  1. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I wonder if you have experienced the recent regime change? I have and came out with good with outstanding features, but our results were good. Where is the incentive to work with challenging children?
    I offer you a direct quote from the ofsted letter to children from a recent inspection "Your school is satisfactory with some good features, but we had to judge it inadequate" says it all I think!
  2. I don't disagree with anything you've said. I agree wholeheartedly with your two keys to success. One would hope that these would help secure at least a "good" judgement. My feeling is however, that this would be now more dependant on the context of your school.
    This thread is all about the change in focus under the new framework. My opinion on our inspection way back in September was that because our kids do not go out with attainment above the national average we could not get a good or outstanding judgement. Our pupils come from one of the most disadvantaged estates in the country, and getting our kids to the national average is significantly more difficult than in more affluent areas. Therefore I felt the new framework is unfairly biased against us and other schools in challenging circumstances.
    This has been bourn out by other poster's inspections, and indeed by inspections on other schools in my local area.
    Im not suggesting that attainment be disregarded, just that it be taken in context more than it seemed to be in our inspection.
    We are not a school who paper over the cracks prior to inspection, we would just like a more ostensibly level playing field.
  3. Dave1C

    Dave1C New commenter

    Angie HT, IMO it has little to do with QA procedures. Most of the judgements in the recent report we had were unevidenced and unobjective.

    Our head of English who had more than doubled GCSE C+ pass rates and taken the department from a deperately low CVA to around average, in two years after her appointment.
    She was brave enough (foolhardy) to criticise the Ofsted regime - result "lack of capacity for sustained improvement" in key subjects, low levels of literacy, spelling mistakes going uncorrected in some books (although no book sample).
    So many judgements are based apon "impressions" and very little to do with rigorous QA.
  4. fishtoe

    fishtoe New commenter

    We were inspected last Mon and Tue - Satisfactory with lots of goods.I wasn't even observed, just came and asked children about their targets. Two ex-seconadary teachers and a lay inspector judging a prmary school. It just seems a joke. But at least it is over and we can all relax and enjoy the last week and Christmas.
  5. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    Well done fishtoe!
    That's exactly what they wanted to see from us (children knowing their targets) - and they didn't. Wouldn't accept that we had a meeting scheduled (which we did) to reassess the whole school approach to targets.
    Guys - if you have the Big O coming in - make sure your pupils know their targets, or at least where to point on the wall.
  6. Hi - can you enlarge of what your daily and weekly risk assessments looked like.Have done risk assessments for garden and classroom but don't record daily/weekly. Am now beginning to panic!
  7. Hi,
    We were inspected 2 weeks before Christmas and once the phone call was received...panic followed.
    I have to say though the inspection was a positive experience. Most of this was due to the inspectors we had, the main 2 were really friendly and surprisingly 'down to earth' - they even stayed in the evening to watch our KS1 Nativity (much to the KS1 coordinators dismay!)
    The scare stories we'd heard really put the panic in is all, but to be honest the inspection felt a lot more transparent than previous inspections. They took on board our SEF and came said that they were merely there to ensure our judgements were sound. Although even the inspectors admitted that the new framework makes it tougher to get higher gradings.
    I completely understand that others may have had bad experiences and I suppose the one aspect of Ofsted that hasn't changed is that it depends on who you get! Our team were fair and very open with us (on the good and not-so-good aspects).
    Christmas was also a lot nicer without the threat of 'the big O' lurking around the corner!
    To anyone about to undergo an inspection - good luck!
  8. This is the first time I've ever felt compelled to put in my two cents in a forum, but this topic is close to the bone for me. After 34 years of experience, recognition in both teaching and management, etc., I have had enough thanks to the wonder that is Ofsted. Despite the positive experience of musodave, I want to warn any of you who think independent education is Nirvana. Independent school inspections, (ISC, ISI) are driven by Ofsted. Our recent ISI report repeatedly referred to Ofsted. Ofsted was responsible for inspecting our boarding provision and it was a nightmare. Independent schools are becoming fee paying state schools and the pain and frustration felt in the state sector are also felt in the independent sector. The grass is NOT greener! Unless there is a sea change in how the government evaluates and supports education and until those in our profession will come together and refuse to follow unjust and educationally unsound practices, I'm out. I agree with Laing - insanity is conformity to insane rules and practices. Truly sane people know when not to conform.
  9. I'm not sure that you'll get much sympathy for your views cinders.
    Do you think you should be unaccountable and unregulated?
    What about all that abuse going on in Irish schools over many years?
    Did you think that you could escape anyone looking at the quality of your work by joining the independent sector?
    How would parents know that the school that they are paying good money to is doing a good job?
    If you are feeling a bit stressed by having your work evaluated and want to leave then that is your choice.
  10. How many qualified teachers now not in teaching? Wonder why?
    Stalactite, it's not the inspection, it's the arbitrary and illogical part of it that wrecks teacher morale and, therefore, motivation, and, therefore, student achievement. Being marked down for having a low-quality intake, for still obeying the advice from last year, or because your inspector doesn't understand what you're doing, is not going to get the job done better.
    Encouraging teachers to leave is not recommended, either - the ones who care will be more likely to go, the jobsworths will just play out time till their pension. We need more of the former ...
    One thought for when you face them - we are the people who do the work and help the children learn. Ofsted are the problem and we are the solution. Let them see that in your eyes.
  11. Schools are sometimes more pressured places than they need to be.
    Schools are increasingly having to cope with pupils from families where there are problems, or who demand individual attention. Teachers can thrive in a school that has created the right climate, yet flounder in a school where systems which support teaching and promote good behaviour are less well developed.

    There will be many teachers who go home each day thinking that they are failing, most often due to challenging behaviour, when the problem often lies with school leaders not tackling systemic problems. There are schools that succeed in difficult circumstances, but it takes particularly strong school leadership. Ofsted have raised the stakes by insisting that schools should be as good as the best in their class. This will put pressure on every school that may previously have had favourable reports based on positive contextualised VA results.

    If expectations have been raised as they have it will be important that there is equivalent support for helping schools to improve to meet these new aspirations. The current funding streams, like for National Challenge and Specialist Schools, needs to be targeted towards systemic school improvement. There also needs to be additional leadership development aimed at schools in this category, and above all, some real support for teaching. CPD has all but vanished in many schools. Tougher inspections will not lead to improving standards, if we don't at the same time invest in our teaching force,

  12. We were inspected on the 10th and 11th of December. I have to say that our team were very fair and used our SEF to begin to ask questions.
    Our head teacher ensured that they listened to her and there was a real constructive dialogue taking place between the inspectors and key staff. This is key as if they are making judgements because they haven't seen anything yet then make sure you show them what you want to.

    All our data was ready for them and any that they requested we duly produced. As a primary school with what appears to be falling results we were expecting the worst. Our analysis of the data obviously went deeper and we tracked children who had been with us for the whole of the primary experience and the progress of our statemented children and our school action plus. I believe that you have to have looked at your data and ensure that you can identify individuals and groups that may effect your statistics. Raiseonline does not show the children. The inspectors asked the questions that they needed to and core subject coordinators were interviewed as a team. The inspectors expressed that they work within tight restraints. All staff were observed and feedback given to all. Being so close to Christmas our rehearsals went on as usual and a visiting pantomime company performed too.
    I feel that the two days (although they were gone by 3 on the Friday) went far better than we thought and the whole school really pulled together. I agree that the team were approachable and this may not always be the case. I feel that we were able to show them that initial statistics don't tell the whole story.
  13. Has anyone ever checked the academic credentials of inspectors to find out if they are qualified enough to make value judgements after 3 days of inspection?

    Has anyone ever asked these people how they evaluate and differentiate, satisfactory, good, very good, excellent and outstanding after (plus/minus) three days?

    I've always wondered how many swallows make a summer. In terms of an Ofsted inspection, it must surely be one?

    But which one?
  14. We're due any time soon - nuff said really!
    Thanks for starting this, I've gained loads of info and have cut'n'pasted a few bits to send to school staff so they know what it's really like, instead of the stuff advisors tell you. We could have been wasting our time getting stressed out about a load of irrelevant stuff (paperwork!) that probably won't even be looked at, whilst missing out on the key things focused on.
    I've been in teaching for 12 years now (3 OFSTEDS, each one very different) and realised recently I have 30 years to go before I can retire!!!
    It frustrates me that we've got so many advisors and inspectors and other bureaucracy - if they got rid of all of them and focused on the people actually doing the job, they might find things improve! Having said that, hubby tells me it's exactly the same in the motor trade - too many "managers" and "advisors", with the mechanics who actually make the money for the Company getting the worst deal!
    HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY BE THINKING OF GETTING OUT... my brother-in-law works for the MOD abroad, and he told me to look at teaching jobs abroad being offered by the MOD. I've seen some fantastic opportunities - in Dec there was a job going for a KS1 Co in CYPRUS (mmm, hot weather!!!). You got TLR2, an R&R bonus of around £4000, and your accomodation is paid for, as well as a cost of living allowance (so your fuel bills etc are paid). Class sizes are relatively small because you're working on an army base, although pupil turnover can be high as "real" army families move off base. You also get highly subsidised flights home.
    I was sorely tempted, but hubby didn't want to up sticks, even tho we could have rented the house out and paid off the mortgage!!! There are often opportunities in Germany too - anywhere we have a British army base. They will give you family accommodation and pay allowances for your family moving out with you. Obviously you'll still have some sort of OFSTED but it's nowhere near on the scale as we have here apparently. I know from the experiences of my sister, living on an army base with 3 small children and having chosen to take on a 2nd "tour of duty" in a new location, that life is great, there's a fantastic support network in place, and the majority of your wages go on what you want, not your bills!!! Teaching jobs are generally permanent (unless the base moves out of that country, but then you'll be relocated). My Headteacher has also worked in an army school in Germany, and she says it was fab and would love to go back.
    Have a look, and sign up for job email alerts, and keep your eyes open for that opportunity, not to get out of teaching, but back into "real teaching". There are teaching opps in this country too at bases around the country but not with all the perks. Army base school OFSTEDs in this country tend to realise that with the high turnover of pupils it's impossible to focus on attainment as the be-all-and-end-all, and that the most important thing is for pupils to feel secure, motivated, and supported.
    What I keep thinking is, if they offered the same sort of thing to all state teachers as standard for everyone, they might find they retain good staff because the staff are all HAPPY! Not just because of the perks, but because of the support network and attitude of encouragement and success - ie. BE THE BEST!!!
    BTW (!!) The current perk of our long holidays - someone told me we only get paid for 5 weeks, the same as everyone else, the rest is unpaid, hence teaching wages being lower than those of other professionals. Not sure if this is true, but if it is, would make me feel less guilty about not going into school in the holidays, and would be something to argue back with when people harp on about our holidays.
    Should we refuse entry to O or any other advisors etc till they provide us with the MOD model?!!! Can a school refuse to admit O? I guess if they don't have proper ID on them or a current CRB check - make sure you ask them!!!
    The website, if you're interested, is https://www.civilianjobs.mod.uk/
  15. My point certainly was not that we should be "unaccountable and unregulated." I'm glad other readers got that. You can't escape inspections by joining the independent sector - there is a robust independent inspection process and I believe you'll find dedicated, experienced practitioners welcome both the recognition and recommendations that inspections provide. Any inspection system should be there for the benefit of the children - encouraging and supporting best practice and eliminating bad practice or abuse. The new format does not, in many cases, achieve this. The independent inspection process is taking its lead from Ofsted, rather than remaining independent. The fact is the current system is more concerned with often inane and irrelevant regulations which sap the energy of the staff and the soul of a school.
    As far as parents knowing that their school is doing a good job, many inspection reports do not give a fair and balanced picture of a school and I would not advise any parent to rely solely on a report when evaluating whether a school is right for their child.
    I think many inspectors share your view, unfortunately, that if it's too stressful then leave. I, for one, am not apologetic for believing that this attitude is detrimental to quality educational provision. I personally know several experienced, dedicated and talented professionals who are now leaving education. None of them, like me, would leave because they are a "bit stressed" and certainly none of them resent having their work evaluated. The choice to leave has been difficult and painful.
  16. hi, sorry to sound stupid... what are AFL strategies? I get mixed up with all the abbreviations! thanks
  17. Assessment for Learning :)
  18. This breaks my heart! You are doing good work - you know you are. If the inspectors slag you off, so be it. Believe in yourself.
  19. It's all a little bit silly really isn't it. I wonder why complications
    are attempted to be resolved with a new set of complications. For all
    the intellectual sweat and toil there is very little intelligence in
    any system and only a tiny speck of sense in our educational
    methodologies. It's not very nice to create a plethora of standards and
    expect people to tick all the boxes. The information age has had its
    peak, this is the conceptual age. Data will give way to stories. It's
    easy to make data tests, and its easy (though long-winded and tedious)
    to chart the success of a student's progress through a set of data.
    It's easy to give a child a target and then ask that child what her
    target is and tick a box. Our job now is to help children visualise the
    future, to synthesise their dreams with science and art. We must
    practice (teacher and student) our multi-media rhetoric - assessment
    will take place in an empathetical manner in no preplanned time - it is the
    natural evolution of the creating, the being or the doing of the
    individual. Becoming (levelling) is a denial of being. We must
    understand that progress is not a hill to climb, but in fact many
    valleys to explore. The answer to eliminating anxiety and preoccupation
    with simplistic recording and filing is not daily increase, but daily
    decrease. Levels are a guide, data is a guide - it's one tiny, little
    way of conveying one kind of learning. It's better not to worry what a
    system thinks of you, largely because a system will never have the
    consciousness that you possess. The oak tree is solid, but the willow
    tree is flexible. When the fierce wind comes, the oak snaps and blows
    down, the willow tree's branches yield and move aside, dropping back
    into place when the force is gone. Be like a willow. We know all our
    manufactured systems are wrong, because our world is in turmoil. We use
    force and more force to get what we want. But of course there will be
    an equal and opposite reaction. It's time to smile, be reasonable, be
    authentic and play. We are human. We are physics, chemistry, biology
    and emotion.
  20. Hi
    What are AFL tasks & where do I get them from?
    Thanks V

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