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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by dancingdora, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. dancingdora

    dancingdora New commenter

    I am a headteacher of a challenging primary school (SEND, PPG, EAL, TGR all above national). Things are generally going very well (now!) and I am three years into headship. However, the school's results are rubbish (below floor) and are likely to be the same again next year. None of the classes are full and we have high mobility.

    My problem is a local headteacher keeps telling parents of children with SEND to come to my school. She tells them she is a 'data driven head', her school 'can't meet their child's needs' and children are 'over stimulated' in her school. She then specifically recommends they come to my school. This has happened lots of times. This means the level of need in my school goes up and up.

    How should I deal with this? Advice greatly appreciated.
  2. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Hundreds of schools are challenging and have high rates of SEN/EAL/DPs etc. We don't all get 'rubbish' results.

    I'd stop worrying about what the head down the road is saying or doing and start thinking about what you can do to improve...
  3. dancingdora

    dancingdora New commenter

    Really unhelpful. When I became head, the school was judged inadequate and 13 months was then judged good in all areas. We are described as 'exceptional' for the support we provide for children in care. We have achieved Centre of Excellence for inclusion. Our nurture provision is used as a best practice model. We do lots of things very well and are on a continual journey of improvement. I was looking for some helpful advice from some experienced colleagues about a tricky situation.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Coming from a totally different sector (and not a HT either) I can't give precise help. But what we did was to ensure that children with SEN and EAL got specialist support and we made quite a marketing thing of this, while also ensuring that we looked after mainstream children really well and made sure that was emphasised to feeder schools as well.
    Emphasise what you do well and ensure that the information out there (local press, radio, councillors, parents, whoever) contains good news about this.
    Not at all sure whether meeting the other HT to express concerns would be productive - depends on the personalities involved.
  5. dancingdora

    dancingdora New commenter

    Thanks - Skeoch. We do try to get good news out there whenever we can and the wider reputation of the school has drastically improved. I agree we need to keep pushing this, so the good news spreads as much as possible.

    I agree meeting the other HT may not be productive. Much of it is hearsay and I don't think a meeting would really make a difference to the outcome.
  6. scott1980

    scott1980 Occasional commenter

    What specific areas need improving?Not a Head teacher but an experienced sen teacher and english lead.
  7. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    I can see what @Pomza is saying, the problem isn't the other headteacher. It may be annoying what they are saying, but you could look at it another way. They are saying they are not confident in the ability of their teachers.

    You want improved results. So the problem is what can you do to help your teachers and support staff get the best out of your pupils?
    Pomza and nomad like this.
  8. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    Not really helpful but I have experienced this is every area I have worked in. School telling parents they dont cater for sen but x school is renowned for their provision.
    loopygiraffe likes this.
  9. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    I've seen this at first hand and I 100% agree with abacus. Not all SEN are created equal and in my experience there is seldom enough funding available to have the impact we'd all hope to have. My advice is if you have pupils with EHCPs you may be able to access top up funding to help with interventions and staffing. It's not OK for another head to say they can't meet the needs of SEN pupils and then direct them to you! I take it you're not a specifically SEN school and a such receive no more help with provision than any other school. It is also clearly demonstrated that school's with higher than the average proportion of children with SEN do record lower progress measures at the end of KS2. It begs the question of what the 'other head' is doing for their SEN pupils?

    Explore what your LA can offer either through top up funding or the Specialist Teaching team (assuming they have one?)

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