My son’s school recently had to undergo an Ofsted inspection. The school ended up being given a ‘3’ which translates as ‘in need of improvement’ (aren’t we all). Here is the letter I sent to the headteacher. It was photocopied for all teachers in the school and a copy now takes pride of place on the wall of my son’s classroom. I hope that it might inspire other parents to write similar letters of support in the same circumstances.
I am writing to express my sadness that the school has been given a ‘3’ by Ofsted. I am not sad for my son because I know that his class teacher does an excellent job and nor am I sorry for the wider school community because I know that the school has a reputation for looking out for all children especially those SEN children who need a little bit of extra care and attention. Indeed the school’s evident insistence on putting the real needs of the children in front of their ‘achievement’ was reinforced by your own comments that you prioritise the children’s ‘contentment’. This, in my opinion, is an admirable stance to take as a headteacher. Ofsted’s grave observation that ‘pupils do not all make good progress from Nursery to Year 2’ becomes ridiculous when one compares these children with those in other countries on the continent who would simply be playing at this age.
I note in the ‘key findings’ of Ofsted’s school report that ‘pupils do not learn quickly’ and that governors do not work hard enough to ensure the school ‘improves swiftly’. These phrases remind me of Ofsted’s oft repeated insistence on a ‘brisk pace’ in lessons as if we are all in a mad rush at all times; after all, aren’t we continually reminded that it is a ‘global race’? It saddens me to see a school kicked around like this by Ofsted. It is a recurring pattern across the country, as I’m sure you know, to denigrate perfectly decent schools. There are political reasons for this and this letter is not the place to examine those.
I only wish to let you know that this parent, at least, finds Ofsted wanting and not your school.
P.S. I hope you will find time to watch ‘FASCINATING AIDA: very funny OFSTED song’ on Youtube and, perhaps, to share it with all staff; I should think everyone needs a morale booster right now.
blog readers here’s a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d13gX-1HJg4
P.P.S. www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk works hard everyday to analyse the current education game in this country and to reveal many of its shortcomings; I highly recommend it