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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 1:06 am 
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One school comes out of special measures, another goes in, and two more wobble dangerously close.(just those I know of)
There seems to be a continual cycle of instability with our uppers, particularly with staff leaving ill fated schools following management shake ups, or disagreements.

Fern Britain is in the bucks free, bemoaning the latest yoyo school, holmer green senior:

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/archive ... s__school/

Why are they so unstable when many of the grammars seem to be a rock solid ofsted rated outstanding?
This just adds to the whole feeling of children not passing their eleven plus in the area being fobbed off with not just a restrictive but also second rate education. This cycle has been happening to uppers for as long as I can remember, why hasn't something been done about it. Surely the level of disparity between school types is screaming out that a two tier system is simply not working?

We live in an area where 75% of our children are educated in upper schools and 25% in grammars, why are the schools that are serving the majority not managing to keep the title "good" or "outstanding" when those serving the minority of the population are?

Is there an easy read chart of regional schools ofsted results, like there is for gcse results?
All these yoyo schools seem to manage to get somewhere in the region of 60%+ of their kids to pass 5 gcse exams inc. maths and english, it seems to be the level of a child's improvement that is often criticised, or management methods. I am aware that ofsted inspections have changed and toughened up very recently and some grammars may also get a bit of criticism when they are next inspected, but like I said this has been happening since the 80's to my knowledge!

Ideas?


Last edited by southbucks3 on Sat May 17, 2014 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 7:38 am 
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Sorry no ideas ...

The grammars have more money - full roles, parents happy to make donations (cheaper then paying school fees :roll: ). I wonder also if the Ofsted inspection model is really appropriate for uppers as it wasn't designed for schools which have (theoretically) had the top 30% skimmed off. Mr Gove also hasn't helped ....


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 9:43 am 
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kittymum wrote:
I wonder also if the Ofsted inspection model is really appropriate for uppers as it wasn't designed for schools which have (theoretically) had the top 30% skimmed off.


I fully agree.

I do wonder how much private tuition skews the results too. A large proportion of children gain entrance into Grammars off the back of extra tuition and I do know children currently attending semi-selectives who are continuing to use private tuition to keep up in what is a very competitive environment.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:02 am 
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True..pupils and oarents obviously play a part, but what about poor management and high staff turn over?


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:09 am 
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It's an interesting question, SB3. :D

I think part – though by no means all – of the answer is that when one of the Upper Schools is on the up and up, it attracts families who are keener to be involved in the school life and their children's education, so it becomes something of a virtuous circle. For example, when my two were still at primary school, people tried to avoid Amersham School like the plague and get their children into the Misbourne or Holmer Green.

In more recent times, though, Amersham has improved and is now over-subscribed for the first time in many years while the Misbourne had a few dodgy years but is now doing well again. In Amersham School's case this is down, I believe, to a very strong HT and deputy HT who have raised expectations and recruited well.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 12:42 pm 
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My opinion, for what it's worth, is that there was about a five year period where no were Uppers in special measures a few years ago then they became Academies ...

Some have used that status well - others clearly haven't kept up to speed with the Ofsted changes. Also it is hard to recruit quality staff to Bucks because houses are so expensive - a strong field for a teaching post is a rarity even in Grammars.

Few Grammars have hace an Ofsted since the changes in 2012 and I think some might find the new standards a challenge ...


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:33 pm
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Location: Bucks
Below are the 2013 figures from DFE for the % of pupils making "expected progress" in English and Maths (and also most recent Ofsted overall grade). Taking a quick look at these, I think that none of the Upper Schools matched any of the Grammar schools in their average "expected progress". The averages for the two types of school are: 67% and 71% for Upper Schools, and 96% and 97% for grammar schools.

Upper Schools:
Code:
The Grange School    Good   71   70
Cressex Community School   Requires Improvement   60   76
The Wye Valley School   Inadequate   55   59
St Michael's Catholic School   Good   65   75
The Misbourne School   Good   71   80
The Aylesbury Vale Academy   Satisfactory   62   69
Buckingham School   Requires Improvement   60   71
Burnham Park E-ACT Academy   Requires Improvement   83   58
The Mandeville School   Inadequate   58   39
Highcrest Academy   Requires Improvement   58   70
Princes Risborough   Requires Improvement   65   84
John Colet School   Requires Improvement   64   80
Holmer Green Senior School   Requires Improvement   64   73
The Beaconsfield School   Satisfactory   63   71
Sir William Ramsay School   Good   85   72
Amersham School   Good   69   80
The Chalfonts Community College   Good   72   84
Waddesdon Church of England School   Outstanding   86   77
Great Marlow School   Good   80   86
The Cottesloe School   Requires Improvement   71   65

Grammar Schools:
Code:
John Hampden Grammar School   Outstanding   91   90
Burnham Grammar School   Good   85   90
Aylesbury High School   Outstanding   97   98
Dr Challoner's High School   Outstanding   100   99
Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School   Good   94   98
Chesham Grammar School   Outstanding   94   95
Aylesbury Grammar School   Outstanding   97   98
Royal Latin School    Outstanding   98   100
Wycombe High School   Outstanding   98   98
Dr Challoner's Grammar School    Outstanding   98   99
Sir William Borlase's Grammar School   Outstanding   99   100
Beaconsfield High School   Outstanding   100   100
Royal Grammar School    Outstanding   98   99


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 1:57 pm 
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'Outstanding' schools are inspected less often than those judged to be 'good' or 'requiring improvement'. It may therefore be that these schools haven't been inspected for a while and may no longer actually be 'outstanding' under the new framework ...

Just a thought ...

JD


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 2:07 pm 
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I would be sacked if my students only made 3 levels of progress in a GS! A level 5 to a grade B - hardly challenging ..

All school are compared to national three levels of progress ... in 2013 this was 69% in English and 70% in maths. Indeed Ofsted dig a bit deeper than this and look at progress from starting points.

Nationally in 2013 (data from RAISEonline):
3 levels of progress from level 3 - En 55%, Ma 44%
3 levels of progress from level 4 - En 71%, Ma 77%
3 levels of progress from level 5 - En 79%, Ma 81%

So the higher you achieve at KS2 the more likely you are to make expected progress - now there's a surprise ... not!


Last edited by Guest55 on Sat May 17, 2014 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 2:09 pm 
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I have to say Great Marlow with its 80 and 86 is impressive - yes not as good as it's close neighbour but considering it's different pupil makeup I think v good.


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