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taking a job in a special measures school

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by samsa, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Hi, I am job hunting at the moment for september. I have been teaching for 5 years and so have a bit of experience under my belt. Ive seen a job advert for a school that was put into sm late last year. They've had their first inspection whereby progress was so far inadequate. i'm going in for a visit in order to get a feel for the school but am hesitant over whether to apply. Think it could be a good career op and v rewarding, but worried about undue stress. Could anyone offer any advice? Thank you.
     
  2. Hi, I am job hunting at the moment for september. I have been teaching for 5 years and so have a bit of experience under my belt. Ive seen a job advert for a school that was put into sm late last year. They've had their first inspection whereby progress was so far inadequate. i'm going in for a visit in order to get a feel for the school but am hesitant over whether to apply. Think it could be a good career op and v rewarding, but worried about undue stress. Could anyone offer any advice? Thank you.
     
  3. Find out as much as you can before you decide anything!!

    I took a job in a school which had just gone into SM quite a few years ago. The head, staff and kids were fantastic. Even our designated HMI was appreciative of the work we were doing. All was fine until the LA stepped in and decided to close the school - only half a term into SM.

    We all nearly killed ourselves to prove that the school was not just good enough to get out of SM, but that the quality of teaching rivalled any other primary I'd ever worked in.

    End result - stress! stress! stress! I loved the school though, and would probably still be there if they hadn't closed us after only 1 year of working there!

    Whatever you decide - good luck!
     
  4. I'm in my second year and haven't known anything else but SM (we got put in 8 weeks after i started...not my fault). I find it difficult making a comparison, however, I work hard but I can usually work a 7.15 - 5.30 day with maybe 2/3 hours at the week end. It is a rewarding experience when things go right!
     
  5. It can be a worthwhile experience - but in no way is an easy option and there is a real danger of you hating it. You need to honest with yourself about why you want to apply, what you want to get out of it, how long you want to stay, what you could offer to the school, to other colleagues and most of all the students - who will all be very wary of any newcomers.

    Being in Special Measures is rather like being in a giant goldfish bowl - with everyone and his mother looking in at you - and being scruinised/monitored up to two or three times per week at certain times leading up to HMI visits.

    As other poster said - there are a range of support mechanisms that click into gear - and its usually the same HMI or Inspector who leads the monitoring.

    That said - it is really tough working in SM schools - there tends to be a high proportion of casualties, illnesses and the like along the way.

    In the "old" days - and before LMS- when a Local Authority saw a school struggling - rather than publicly name and shame the school and consequently everyone in it - they would place good teachers there to help pull them up and support the school.

    Most teachers give SM schools a wide berth for very good reasons - but perhaps all teachers - including the ones who teach in "outstanding" schools need to experience what it is like!!

    My opinion - well - I would - and I have .... but - all very stressful and at certain times I wondered why I was there - but incredibly valuable experience. I also found that certain aspects were exremely rewarding!!

    Good luck


    SA
     
  6. pussycat

    pussycat New commenter

    We are in sm and it's not as bad as you may think. The school gets lots of help ( and it badly needed it )and is improving very rapidly. Go and check it out - if you get a really bad feeling then you don't have to take the job!
     
  7. I took a job in a special measures school but it was a good school in terms of the kids. Would not touch a school which is in SM where one of reasons is behaviour - one maths department is currently offering £5000 recruitment and retention and the advert is in nearly every week.

    If you are up on latest ideas and are currently using them in your classroom, you will be fine. But your definitely right to see if the school is right for you - just as you would with any other job.

    Down side of SM - staff motivation. In beginning staff leaving for various reasons -being pushed out, leaving because they can't handle the pressure, leaving because everything is fine and shouldn't have SM(i.e. don't make me change), etc, etc. Can leave a bitter taste with those who stay.
     
  8. P.S. My school also made inadequate progress in one monitoring visit. But when we got out of SM, we didn't have Ofsted visit til 2 years later as we'd done so well. Then we got "Good".
     
  9. Hi I applied for a job last year in a school that was in " notice to improve" we since went into Special Measures after I'd been there for 10 weeks. It has been the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. The stress is unreal. I am a member of the SMT and it has been a very hard steep learning curve. I basically have no life and work for about 15 hours a day plus some weekends. I am someone who prides themselves on doing a good job but my confidence has been deeply undermined. I have been teaching for 10 years and nothing has prepared me for this. It is not a good career opportunity as the LA advisors generally look at the context of the school - ie if the school is viewed as inadequate so are you. It is not in anyway rewarding you do double the graft for half the reward.
    Good luck. Hope you find something better
     
  10. I love it - 99% of the time!
    I have a raft of outstanding judgements from LEA, HMI, Ofsted, Internal, AST's Consultants.
    Loads of support in trying new ideas out and keeping up to date with tracking / data... makes for much more interesting lessons.
    Downside - the workload at first - but you quickly learn how to work 'clever not harder'
    It's been a really good constant CPD (if you want to look for the silver lining!)
     
  11. I completed my NQT year in a school that was in Notice to improve.
    I was observed atleast everyweek! Which was a little more full on than I had expected- however, it has made me a much better teacher in a much shorter amount of time.
    We had an Ofsted- but only because of "historical data" we STAYED in Notice to Improve (I think the first time ever this has happened!)

    I would say that I only managed to get through this year because of a really supportive staff that always encouraged me that I was good enough, and because I lived at home and had lots of support from my family- ie. making my meals and washing my clothes! Becuase without that I think I may have become exhausted.

    The best lesson I have learnt- is to do what you <u>need</u> to do and try not to waste your time doing things that no one will look at!!
     

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