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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:06 pm 
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The home page of Princes Risborough School - in the public domain - today has shared their latest Ofsted Report which will be published on the Ofsted website shortly.
Apart from 6th form - Grade 2 as it was last time (which is encouraging) - all other aspects are Grade 3 and this is the second time in two years that PRS has been graded 'requires improvement' - and the second time the Head has sought to defend the school against the judgements with a dismissive letter of denial of the issues. Very demoralising and disappointing for staff I'm sure and for well intentioned governors. Sadly it is the children who are caught in the middle, and parents who are at a loss to know what to do, to ensure their child is provided with a good education.

I am amazed that the response from the Head on the PRS website defends the school and the education it offers and really seems to dismiss the valid points and judgements detailed in the report.

What is of equal if not greater concern is the letter from the Chair of Governors 'on behalf of the whole governing body' defending the school and staff and again not getting to grips with the real issues of concern, and seeks to use the Ofsted report to make political points - stating with regard to senior leadership/management '...sometimes decisions do not meet with the current political views and we find ourselves out of step with the outcomes the government and Ofsted want to see.' In my view it is wholly inappropriate for governors to drag political statements into a response to an Ofsted report which raises concerns about many aspects of the school, its management and leadership and the education it currently provides. The governors should be in the business of supporting the school by providing challenge to their plans, decisions, activities and outcomes.

I would be interested to know what others think.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:17 pm 
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His response reminds me of Lady Bracknell 'to object to one Ofsted verdict ... etc'.

A third RI puts the school into Special Measures ... so I do hope the report is not dismissed lightly.

Ofsted judgements are data driven and they do not make 'soft' judgements - clearly pupil progress is not good and therefore, teaching can't be good.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:56 am 
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The latest government 'hoop to jump through' is called Progress 8. This is how a school's progress is now measured. In lots of schools (including any of the 200 upper schools in England) there are lots of students who will not be following/completing 8 subjects. In these cases the students could make great progress in their 4/5/6 or however many subjects but the 'missing' subjects score 0 value added. As a result, progress measures for these schools are skewed. I know of any number of Upper Schools that are doing a great job by their students but are OFSTED RI (or worse) because not all their students study 8 subjects. Why 8 ? OFSTED would say that 8 allows for a 'broad and balanced curriculum'. For whom ? Says who ? I, for one, am pleased to see Headteachers putting their careers on the line for the sake of transparency and fairness. We can't all blindly follow 'the rules'. 85% of Grammars receive an OFTSED Outstanding rating compared to 10% of English Uppers. Something's clearly not right.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:57 pm 
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Progress 8 was not used in the current RAISEonline which was used in this inspection.

I've edited this post to add the link about this measure:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... tsheet.pdf


Last edited by Guest55 on Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Something's clearly not right....agreed.
Low level disruption, children not engaged, able children not stretched enough, governors not sufficently holding senior management/ leadership team to account.....yep something's clearly not right...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:04 am 
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The real shame is that for whatever reason the head gives to not just do what offsted want, he and his governor's are ignoring the terrible effect a poor inspection can have on the marketability of the school. These last two years of poor reports have further fuelled a preference for local parents to send their children seven miles up the road to the now improved misbourne rather than walk to their nearest upper. This is great news for parents in wycombe and cressex area, who want a different option to schooling their children in the big high wycombe schools, as there are spaces freed up at risborough, but terrible for the local environment and ethos of the small town.
The bottom line is, if local parents are turning their backs, ofsted are dissatisfied and staff are demoralised eventually the results will drop as well and then they will be forced to pay attention and alter their political stance even if the school does not enter special measures.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:01 pm 
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What is also concerning is that this judgement could last for another 2 years until the next inspection takes place. Already the school, staff and pupils have had a "requires improvement" judgement hanging over them for 2 years and does this mean another 2 years of uncertainty?

What help or assistance is given to a school in this situation? Being put into special measures could actually have been a blessing in disguise for the Misbourne as it seems to have turned itself around in a relatively short space of time. I do also really feel for staff (of course for the children too) as this must have a bad effect on morale.

As for parents in Cressex choosing to move out and got to other schools, Cressex actually got a "good" Ofsted rating last year!

This does indeed raise the thorny question again of why so many of our upper schools struggle with Ofsted, whilst the grammar schools cream off the most able and gain all the praise.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:09 pm 
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Most GS were inspected before the change to progress being the most important measure in September 2012.

Upper schools used to get lots of free support from the LA until the 'National Strategy' funding was removed about four years ago ...

There are some very successful Uppers so it's not down to ability profile of the school. Those which are Academies have to buy in support now ...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:26 pm 
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I know nothing about this school and whether it is indeed good or bad, but those responses that are quoted from the headteacher and chair of governors are not inspiring. Is the head close to retirement and has a couldn't care less Chair of Govs?

When heads and chairs don't challenge one another and are pretty mediocre or worse than mediocre, I don't really know what hope there is unless the local authority has some bite.

Nothing really changes .... OFSTED (when it's correct) is a very expensive way of pointing out that a school needs a better head and / or chair of governors but there's no clear mechanism for making those changes happen. It's a market=place theory - the school starts to wither on the vine because parents try to avoid the school if they possibly can and then the budget suffers and so the children's education suffers - it takes years before something real happens - e.g. the head moves on or the school is closed - to improve the education for the children in the school.

Is it an academy or not?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:46 pm 
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Ofsted report says Academy for three and half years. No idea if Head is near retirement.


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