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Shall I move to a 'Requires Improvement' school from a 'Good'.

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by zaetsi, May 14, 2017.

  1. zaetsi

    zaetsi New commenter


    I'm working as a teacher in a 'Good' school according to Ofsted. Like most teachers I work really long hours (currently about 65 a week - I have tried to cut it down but to no avail). The school that I work in is a 45-60 minute journey from my house depending on traffic. I was thinking of applying for a job at my daughter's school which is a 25-minute walk from my house just to a) save some time and b) save on childcare fees (as I would be able to drop her off and pick her up myself as they have a breakfast and after school club). However, the school has just been inspected and rated as 'Requires Improvement'.

    My question is would it look odd to future employers that I chose to go from a 'Good' to 'Requires Improvement' school? And is it a nightmare to work in a 'Requires Improvement' situation? The job is already high pressure and as a working mum with a fairly unsupportive partner :{ I don't want to bring any more stress upon myself. Please could anyone advise who has done this or who has worked in a RI school.

    With many thanks!!! :)
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    There are lots of RI schools that are fine.

    65 hours a week is ridiculous - it's also not sustainable in the long run.

    45-60 minute journey - also not sustainable in the long run - I did years of commutes that distance - in the end it becomes too much.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Do you seriously think any headteacher looking through applications is going to look at the Ofsted rating of every school that every applicant has ever worked in and wonder why they moved from good to RI, or some other such move? Really?

    No it isn't a nightmare per se. Some outstanding schools are hell and some SM schools are fabulous. The Ofsted rating tells you nothing about how they are to work in. There is no section on how staff are treated and the decency of the leadership. There are several heads who post on here with schools I would even consider going back to the state sector to work in, just to work for that head. However some of those have recently been inspected as RI for the most nonsense of reasons. If it is good enough in which to educate your daughter, it is good enough in which to work, surely?
  4. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I moved from a "Good and nearly Outstanding" school to a RI school and the two, whilst being very different, are both "Good" schools to work in. This is down to the people that work in them and not the label that has been put on them. I don't think I put in more hours trying to shift my current school from RI ( where it has been or more years than I care to mention!) than I did moving my previous school towards Outstanding.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Pressure is pressure and I'm not sure that the pressure of staying at good/outstanding is any more or less than the moving to. As said above it's down to the staff and SLT.

    For what it's worth, I've been round quite a few 'bottom-end' schools as supply and there is no common theme and some are great places to work.
  6. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    Although there can be pressure to work hard to improve the rating, there is also the opportunity to make a positive impact pretty quickly which can only be a good thing. In terms of your own career, you may also be able to give evidence of how an initiative you led contributed towards a better rating next time, for example.
    It would be worth finding out how much your planning, etc, would be monitored as part of their strategy to improve, and whether this outweighs the time you currently spend commuting.
    I moved from an outstanding school to a satisfactory one, and personally felt I'd have sent a child of mine to the satisfactory one (though it became good on its next Ofsted).
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    @GLsghost put a good summary in post 20 of this thread.

    Hope she doesn't mind me replicating her good points here?

    There's no doubt it is hard work, but it has many advantages too:
    * there tends to be a real sense of cameraderie and team work;
    * there are opportunities for training and development that you just don't get in other, more settled contexts;
    * it will hone your teaching and classroom management like nothing else;
    * you can develop your career in different directions, since the circumstances mean that you can be flexible and take on other roles and responsibilities;
    *there is pretty much nothing you can do that makes the situation worse than it already is!

    Having myself worked at a top-rated School on the list of 'Outstanding Schools', where many staff found the pressure very hard and many were on anti-depressants and also a School put into 'Special Measures' with constant monitoring visits, I would say both ends of the spectrum can have difficulties and yet can be great places to work in.
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I've worked in schools covering all ratings and don't think this is really a very good measure to judge how good/bad a school is to work in.

    For me, it all depends on the quality of the HT/DHT. Do they have sensible or ridiculous expectations about planning and marking? Will they support you with an abusive parent or hide in their office? Will they deal with behaviour problems? Do they actually understand what good teaching and learning look like?

    These are the types of things that will make a difference to your quality of life at work...Not an Ofsted label, which could be years out-of-date anyway...
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    You can learn a lot from a school which has been judged as RI . In fact you could argue that you demonstrate greater resilience, skill and effectiveness in being part of a team which addresses the areas for development .Professionally it is not career suicide - out of adversity often comes opportunity but some folk are better suited to working with students who are challenged and challenging for example ( and 'thank the lord' they exist - the staff I mean ! )
    Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Apply right now!

    You're already working like a dog and travelling silly miles.

    How much harder can you work? There must be a limit. You must be just about reaching it. Hey, so it's RI. Big deal. Your workload is already stupid.

    Do it. You have nothing to lose.
  11. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The ofsted ratings of schools can look good on the banners for a while (until people stop seeing them).
    In 5 years time a future head is unlikely to trawl back through the data to see that you moved down a category. What they will want to know was the quality of of your teaching, your contribution to the teamwork of running an improving school and other such.

    Working at the same school as your child needs consideration, it's not all bad. Complex reasons meant that I did that. It was much harder for her than me. Mrs P had to go and do all the negotiating when things went slightly haywire
  12. zaetsi

    zaetsi New commenter

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply - it was all really helpful. I liked all the comments which showed that I could learn a lot from a RI school and, later on, be able to show how I contributed to improving the rating. And grumpydogwoman you are spot on - I can't do any more work so what do I have to lose?
  13. minceandquince

    minceandquince New commenter

    Do it! Your work/life balance will be so much better, and more time with your daughter.
    1 person likes this.
  14. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    No bearing at all on future employers - they really don't spend time going through CVs and looking up the Ofsted rating of the applicants' schools at the time they were there.

    In my opinion the rating of the school is largely irrelevant. An RI school will be putting everything it can in place to look good, a good school will be doing the same to look outstanding, an outstanding school will be doing everything it can to keep its data up and avoid an inspection ... the evils are slightly different, but they're all evil and there is no such thing as an "easier" place to work.

    There is, however, such a thing as a well led workplace and this is what I would be interested in if I were you. A school being intelligently led out of RI will be a great place to be, a school being beaten out of RI won't be.

    The bottom line for me is about your happiness now and your willingness to take a risk to change this. That should be at the core of your decision.
    Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.
  15. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    ... just remember that the value of your investments may go up or down.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Another thing which occurred to me, from when I worked in a SM School.

    When the HMI leading the inspections arrived he told us if everyone worked together it was possible to get a School like ours out of SM in a year to 18 months, With a (think it was section 8?) inspection once a term it would need at least 4-5 'monitoring inspections before being able to move category and we were told that at any point during the inspection it could 'change into a section 5 and move us out of category'.
    So RI for the past 4 visits might only mean the school has been in that category for just over a year and there might be a good chance that it could 'change' soon?
  17. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I have an hour's journey to school. One day this week there was a major accident and I was in the car for three hours. I'm moving to a school I could walk/cycle to if I wanted. I can't wait. As others have said, you reach a limit where the travelling gets too much, and I've just about reached mine. I say go for it (and good luck!)
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    The simple answer is : No don't do it.:eek::eek::D:p

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