General Chat Thread, More crazy ideas from the Coalition in General; Schools rated 'outstanding' will never face Ofsted inspections again under plans by Gove
I thought the idea of Ofsted was ...
28th May 2010, 10:18 AM #1
More crazy ideas from the Coalition
Schools rated 'outstanding' will never face Ofsted inspections again under plans by Gove
I thought the idea of Ofsted was to keep schools on their toes, with no planned or announced monitoring procedure for schools rated outstanding this can only end in disaster!
Shireland Collegiate Academy in Sandwell, West Midlands, was graded 'outstanding' by inspectors four years ago while operating as a comprehensive.
But in a dramatic fall from grace since gaining academy status, it has now been placed in 'special measures' after a damning Ofsted report.
28th May 2010, 10:35 AM #2
Yup, madness, it's like having your MOT, being told you have a pass with no advisorys and then never having to MOT your car again.
Thanks to TwoZeroAlpha from:
28th May 2010, 10:38 AM #3
lol WTF? Makes no sense at all. Perhaps give them longer between inspections or something. But never again? What if the majority of the staff left one summer, that would change the school somewhat!
28th May 2010, 10:38 AM #4
I'd be happy with that! But then again, being practical, maybe not.
Originally Posted by TwoZeroAlpha
28th May 2010, 10:43 AM #5
To balance this out somewhat:
'Outstanding schools will be freed from inspection, [but] if there are certain indicators that flash ‘danger’ then it will be triggered and there is always the parental request for an inspection if there are problems as well.
'But broadly they will be free of that burden so that they [Ofsted] can more effectively focus the work of their inspectors.'
He added: 'Of course things can change, heads and leadership teams can change, there can be changes of intake, changes of staff, changes of funding.
'But there are a number of ways in which lights can flash and we can see what’s happening. What we absolutely have to have is public, objective data about how schools are performing.'
28th May 2010, 11:08 AM #6
This is just an attention-grabbing headline from the Daily Fail. Please read the whole article and you will understand that schools rated 'outstanding' will not be permanently excluded from future inspections.
Originally Posted by AngryITGuy
edit: under the proposals.
28th May 2010, 11:14 AM #7
Maybe next week it'll be: Ofsted Gives You Cancer
28th May 2010, 11:28 AM #8
Headline grabbing again! They will only not face ofsted if their exam results and other indicators remain the same or improve. If they dip, ten Ofsteds start again.
As a previousposter said, it would be good if people read the whole article and not just the headlines.
28th May 2010, 03:02 PM #9
Even with those conditions, this could go horribly wrong. School leaders and unions have complained for years that simple exam results and league tables are a flawed way of evaluating a school. No doubt some of those same people will be perfectly happy to accept them as a gold standard if it frees the school from inspection, but I don't agree.
Consider this possible future:
- Government issues important new initiative to schools.
- The quango that would have advised the school on this initiative has been abolished in the bonfire.
- School fails to do anything about the initiative or implements it poorly because they don't understand it.
- No-one ever check that the initiative has been implemented properly because all the government are looking at are (questionably flawed) league tables.
That may sound very theoretical, but let's examine what could have happened if this had been suggested a year or so ago, right before e-safety was bumped up the priority list with Ofsted. I know of a couple of 'outstanding' schools where e-safety was not taken seriously, and barely covered until they got wind of the new inspection framework. The school then relied very heavily on Becta's work on e-safety to get their act together before inspection.
Without the ever-present stick of Ofsted, the school would have had very little incentive to do anything about e-safety because it didn't contribute to anything measured on a league table. Without Becta, they would have had a much harder job of it since the LA were also relying totally on Becta to provide that guidance. Fast forward to a few months from now, and this is quite literally the situation the school will be in, at least until someone takes over Becta's e-safety role. Even then, the school would have to be entirely self-motivated to actually do anything about it - which they weren't, despite being supposedly 'outstanding'.
For all its flaws, Ofsted does at least provide some accountability for things that go beyond simple exam results. Senior leaders may complain that their remit is too large (just today in the TES was a back-page opinion on exactly that), but something like e-safety is terribly important, and without some replacement system to ensure 'outstanding' schools are actually remaining outstanding, it leaves a big gap.
Of course, this could be a clever bait-and-switch to push through a much more thorough and pervasive league table system by offering the illusion of a lighter touch from central government, but personally I'm not convinced our political leaders have the intelligence to pull off something that devious.
Last edited by AngryTechnician; 28th May 2010 at 03:04 PM.
29th May 2010, 01:05 AM #10
I agree with that statement, my school has just last month been inspected, there previous inspection wasn't that brilliant, the current head had just taken over so had only just started his "magic" so they were not expecting amzing etc. It wasn't a special measures job but not anywhere near outstanding. In 4 years we have gone from poor to Good with Outstanding Features, the only thing that stopped us going higher is the fact that our exam grades are not, well outstanding in all areas! There may have been minor niggles elsewhere but that is one key area that stops us, yet the priase, and the report on us is brilliant and some great comments from the Inspection team on how amazing the effort has been to improve things. This just goes to show don't just judge a school on its grade as they are not always the best indicator!
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