Published on: 16/01/2012 11:21 PMReported by: onthespot
Southport.gb.com makes National News over Birkdale High School
When Michael Gove boasted about the success of his academy programme earlier this month, he clearly hadn't heard about Birkdale high school in Southport. The school became an academy just four months ago, but now, according to the local news website Southport.gb.com, it has been placed in special measures following an Ofsted inspection in December.
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David Cameron said today on Coasting schools-
Last year I spoke out about the scandal of coasting schools – the ones that are content to muddle along without trying hard to improve. These might be schools in leafy areas that get above-average results, or schools in inner cities that have seen flat-lining poor results; what links them isn’t the scores they’re getting, but the complacent attitude that says things are OK just as they are.
This year we’re doing something about it. Ofsted have announced today that they’re changing the rating system for schools. It used to be that some schools were labelled ‘satisfactory’. Now they’re abolishing that label and replacing it with a new one: ‘requires improvement’.
This is not some small bureaucratic change. It marks a massive shift in attitude. I don’t want the word ‘satisfactory’ to exist in our education system. “Just good enough” is frankly not good enough. Every teacher, every head and every school should be aiming for excellence – no lower.
These words are being backed by action. Schools that ‘require improvement’ will be re-inspected within 12-18 months – instead of the 3-year break between inspections they’ve had in recent years. And the bar of expectation is getting higher too. Schools can only be found to ‘require improvement’ twice. At their third inspection they must be rated at least ‘good’ or they will be placed in special measures.
To those who say that this will alienate some schools, I say we’ve got to stop making excuses and start doing what is best for our children: demanding excellence and confronting complacency wherever we find it.
Making this change of attitude felt on the ground, in classrooms, will be a massive team effort. That’s why this afternoon I’m holding a meeting in Downing Street with some of the country’s most inspiring head-teachers, as well as Sir Michael Wilshaw, the new head of Ofsted. In his previous job as head of Mossbourne Academy in Hackney, Sir Michael said ‘no’ to complacency and failure, and turned that school around. Now he’s going to help us drive the nationwide transformation of our schools.
Be in no doubt: this is a government that is incredibly ambitious for all the children in our country – and we will fight for them to get the best start in life.
When Ofsted Inspectors have completed their inspection visit, they are required to provide verbal feedback to the Headteacher and other nominated staff members of the school. The inspectors meet again to ensure the right grade was given and their grading is also subject to an internal Ofsted adjudication process.
This feedback only gives an indicative grade and only becomes a true grade on release of the full report (usually 6 weeks after the visit). Hence the reason why there has been no official response from the school.
The published report will provide an explanation as to the grading and just a thought - The current scheme can include limiting grades so while Teaching, Learning, Success rates etc may all be good to outstanding, they may have been given a low grade for Safeguarding/Health & Safety/Management. When schools leave local authority control and become academies, they lose the H&S and other support services which the Local Authority provide. It has been known for newly formed academies to ask local colleges for assistance with controlling H&S etc in their schools. With regards to Safeguarding, it may be that the Local Authority held all personnel records for school staff including CRB clearances, Qualifications etc on a single central record. These documents may have needed to be transfered to the academy or may have required new applications to be processed. If Birkdale only became an academy in September, they may not have had enough time to embed these systems into the academy structure.
It is difficult to provide a fuller answer or for the academy to defend itself without knowing the outcomes of the inspection, which will probably be due to be published in early February.
Wasn't it a better school under local authority control?
I have never been particularly politically aware, or even interested, but has it never been clearer to me what this government are doing. In fact you would have to be blind not to see that they are hell-bent on privatising our education system. By raising floor targets (so that more schools "fail" numerically), by altering Ofsted gradings (so that no schools are "satisfactory", even more will be less than this), effectively moving the goalposts and reducing the goal to the size of a catflap, more and more schools will fall into the trap laid for them by the government and will be turned into academies. With the dribbling, chinless toff that is Michael Gove at the helm, and Wilshaw as his hitman, eventually all schools will be academies and the time will be right for the Great British School Sell-Off. Step forward the Americans to run our schools as profit-making enterprises, profits made from our taxes.
Originally Posted by stuart
Surely, CONeram doesn't really believe that schools aren't already doing their utmost to achieve outstanding results for their pupils? Schools are at the mercy of their intake, no matter how hard they try. But even comparing schools from similar areas (known as contextualising) has been removed from Ofsted's source data so that, for example, Merchants is compared with Meols Cop. The saddest thing is that I have no idea how this can be stopped.
And to paraphrase Manic Street Preachers, if you tolerate this the NHS will be next.
Last edited by Twobanksoffour; 18/01/2012 at 07:53 PM.
Reason: So angry, I forgot stuff.
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