New Term Same Challenge
Well we are back in the swing of things after the much needed summer holiday. OfSTED visited just a few weeks prior to the end of term with the new no grading of lessons regime.
This was well received by staff and seems a much better and fairer way of looking at the quality of teaching and learning.
Sadly, the end result was a second RI. During the inspection a couple of the teachers who were moving on at the end of term did not perform well during inspection and this impacted greatly on the result.
Some off task behaviour led to a 3 judgment for behaviour. This really hitting hard as the behaviour in my school is good. Children are well behaved, polite, kind to each other – more so than any other school I have worked in. The fact some children ran for lunch and no other child said ” don’t run we are not allowed to run” and the two classes where children strayed off task meant that it now looks like behaviour has gone down hill since the last inspection when it is even better than in the past.
I have had a real push on moving on teachers who are not up to the standard and working hard with those who are left. New staff are good and are already making an impact. This however appears not to be good enough to grade leadership any better than RI. Apparently we are focusing on the right things and making the right decisions but not enough detail in governors minutes to show they are effective – need for all their questions written down to show that they challenge! School Improvement Plan hits all the required areas and it has had impact on maths and phonics but the need for clearer “milestones” means it can’t be better than RI even though previous inspectors and HMi thought it was fit for purpose and had input into the format.
My few gripey parents managed to get their say and influenced the report by saying we lack in communication. We have a weekly bulletin, texting, emails, weekly updated website, Twitter etc etc yet I am now jumping through hoops to ensure communication is strong ( all school questionnaires stated communication is strong but the three parents who said different got it out in the report!! – now what is the point of carrying out questionnaires if these are ignored by OfSTED?
On a positive note the inspectors were professional, supportive and very knowledgeable. Shame the framework and guidelines they adhere to are so rigid and inflexible. They recognised the good work that has gone on, they could see that the complexity of the issues over the last few years have now been dealt with and that the teaching has got better and we have worked hard to eradicate inconsistent teaching. They could see the change of staff in readiness for this term would make the difference required.
They agreed with what we have done and how we have done it. They agreed that we couldn’t have done it any quicker. But here we are left, because of the framework, appearing like a school that is failing. The whole terminology, construction of the report created to name and shame.
So I am back to LA panicking, sending me in people who are of no help to sit in meetings that are a waste of everybody’s time and money so that they look like they are doing someone “supportive”.
I need to get on with the job not have to reinvent the wheel but keep on the move forward as OfSTED told me to do (off the record of course because they can’t write that we are doing the right things!!!!!!)
I now have good staff, pupils who are keen to learn, standards improving.
God knows what they will make of the progress as we move away from levels.
I love my job, I believe it is one of the most important jobs in the world but I really can understand why there are people walking away from it.
Upwards and onwards until the next shift of goal posts.