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 Post subject: Colchester GS downgraded
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:48 pm 
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First school ever to go from Outstanding to inadequate in one inspection. DG

DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:59 pm 
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I don't know the school, but how long ago was their previous assessment? Some schools haven't been assessed for a very long time, so although this is one assessment, the decline could have been happening for a decade.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:19 pm 
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No.

Check the annual list of outstanding schools and just this year they were at the top of the list for state schools Oxbridge results with 39 students.


Inspectors acknowledged the institution's academic success, saying that pupils “excel” in their studies and many “go on to study at a very high level” after leaving school.

But they marked the school as “inadequate” – the lowest grade – owing to the poor behaviour of students as well as unsatisfactory leadership and management.

Inspectors said that some pupils did not feel safe “because of a culture which allows them to be victimised for being themselves”, adding that many pupils did not raise concerns with the school.

Insulting and damaging comments
“A significant number of pupils feel uncomfortable or unsafe in school and report being the subject of insulting and damaging comments regarding their gender, appearance, race or ******** orientation,” the report found.

“Leaders have failed to recognise or address a pervading culture in the school which does not promote equality and respect.

“Leaders have not ensured that boys understand how to interact appropriately with girls. Consequently, some boys are rude about girls, judge them by their appearance and make inappropriate remarks. Parts of the school have become a hostile environment for some pupils.”

DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 6:37 pm 
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Unfortunately, lots of your year 13s getting places at Oxbridge isn't incompatible with lots of aspects of a school's provision not being 'outstanding'.

The Ofsted report in question (on the school's website, but not yet up on the Ofsted site) says 'that the school was not previously inspected'. Obviously, the school had had Ofsted inspections, but the last one was before it converted to an academy.

Apart from regular inspections of the boarding provision (which is 6th form only), as far as I can see, the last full inspection of the school appears to have been in 2007. That incarnation of the school closed at the beginning of 2012 - schools becoming academies legally close and then reopen, even if the name remains the same - and both the Interim Assessment in late 2011 and the Academy Conversion Letter confirmed that, as per the (then) recent changes in regulations regarding 'Outstanding' schools, routine visits would not be required, although a risk assessment would be undertaken three years after conversion.

So last full whole school inspection 14 years ago. That's two full cohorts going through the school...

I'm sure that most of the boys are perfectly decent. Unfortunately, not all of them. Possibly those whose parents want them to go there 'because it's the best school' - sort of fair enough - but as an extension of that, allow / encourage them to believe that in that case, they are 'the best', however they actually behave? (And of course, to be fair to CRGS, that isn't going to be unique to that school; it's just a high profile one and it's been looked at just now and been found wanting. And sadly, is unlikely to be the only one).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:50 pm 
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Quote:
And sadly, is unlikely to be the only one.


And sadly I strongly suspect you are right.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:51 pm 
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it is the key issue about telling one group that they are special and better and outstanding.

Don't then be surprised if they start to behave in a superior way to others because they have been told they are.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:33 pm 
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I have on occasion shuddred when told of the opinions expressed by a minority of pupils in DS and DD's schools and credit to the Ofsted inspectors for looking beyond the academic results and headline count of Oxbridge offers but I think it's somewhat unfair to suggest this is somehow intrinsically linked to high attainment. My guess is that in most schools there are pupils, regardless of level of attainment, who are hurtful, sometimes in the extreme, to others. I remember there were some recent posts about a similar, pocketed culture of disrespect towards peers in a much lauded partially-selective school often discussed in these forums, and other posts about that school suggest the difficult characters were from the unselected intake.

I am sure inspectors would understand the few bad apples problem when passing their judgement but a main concern here seems to be the leadership team not having processes in place to address these issues, and being found to be unware. In part the problem may also be that probably less than half the sixth-form are from an original Y7 intake and the highly qualified new intake might bring very mixed cultural baggage, with the school finding it quite difficult to address the British values side of education in the 2 years they have with these students.

In fairness, with the everyone's invited, BLM, pride etc movements, pupils and Ofsted inspectors have probably become much more tuned to these issues and school leadership teams are trying hard to catch up and I agree many more school would be found to be seriously lacking if inspected in this environment of shifting social awareness.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 4:34 pm 
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nyr wrote:
I have on occasion shuddred when told of the opinions expressed by a minority of pupils in DS and DD's schools and credit to the Ofsted inspectors for looking beyond the academic results and headline count of Oxbridge offers but I think it's somewhat unfair to suggest this is somehow intrinsically linked to high attainment. My guess is that in most schools there are pupils, regardless of level of attainment, who are hurtful, sometimes in the extreme, to others. I remember there were some recent posts about a similar, pocketed culture of disrespect towards peers in a much lauded partially-selective school often discussed in these forums, and other posts about that school suggest the difficult characters were from the unselected intake.

I am sure inspectors would understand the few bad apples problem when passing their judgement but a main concern here seems to be the leadership team not having processes in place to address these issues, and being found to be unware. In part the problem may also be that probably less than half the sixth-form are from an original Y7 intake and the highly qualified new intake might bring very mixed cultural baggage, with the school finding it quite difficult to address the British values side of education in the 2 years they have with these students.

In fairness, with the everyone's invited, BLM, pride etc movements, pupils and Ofsted inspectors have probably become much more tuned to these issues and school leadership teams are trying hard to catch up and I agree many more school would be found to be seriously lacking if inspected in this environment of shifting social awareness.


It's certainly not implied (let alone stated) that the complaints are all down to the actions / attitudes of the overseas students joining as boarders in year 12. Indeed, the observation is that some students suffer because of their protected characteristics, e.g. race, gender or sexuality. And those from the indigenous population joining the sixth form as day students should have had as much education in British values as the boys who have spent years 7-11 in the school.

From their parents, if no-one else.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:58 pm 
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I was definitely not suggesting the overseas students are at fault.

I was trying to point out that as the new intake - coming from many different schools (not necessarily overseas) with their own cultures (broad sense) - exceeds the number moving up from Y11, it seems the school may have a lot of ground to cover in 2 years with regards to behaviour, attitude and personal develpment and when preparing students for "aspects of life in modern Britain" - educational outcomes not easily measured when selecting students for the sixth-form.

One reason for focusing on the sixth-form is that the experience of girls would, I assume, be driven by their peers. Though, on reflection, it's possible that it could as easily be due to boys who have moved up through the school, as they may lack experience of girls as equals. With your ear closer to the ground, you probably have a better idea of where the problems lie.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 4:21 pm 
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The only unusual aspect is that this school is an academically well regarded and selective school.

As a general point, the rest is quite consistent with what goes on at too many schools and how, usually, nothing is done about it. The instinct in schools, as in all organisations, is to ignore these things and to bury this stuff. The CGS example also shows the folly of the obsessive focus on Oxbridge Entrance and on Academic League Tables.

Once in a while, Ofsted does somehow stumble upon the problem, in which case they may react, strongly and suddenly, especially in the context of any national political pressures which are current. A small group of pupils or parents expressing a concern - especially on 'safeguarding' - can trigger a sudden and drastic downgrading by Ofsted. And we know the justified and necessary current national conversation on inclusion, discrimination, bullying, ******** bullying and ******** assault.

At one school, I once reported pupils' racism against a colleague, only for me to be made the problem. I was excluded from the Head's Investigation, which then concluded that there was no racism in the school and that was that. I left at the end of that Term. In addition, pupils' sexism and ******** bullying, including especially of male staff by girls - that's right, male staff - was quite something. Nothing was ever done. Staff knew what would happen if any colleagues said anything. Two senior women, one a Deputy Head and another an Assistant Head, made sure nobody dared step out of line on such matters. Ofsted deemed that school 'Good with outstanding features ... with outstanding pastoral care. The school is safe and pupils feel safe ... .'! And no mention of Staff Safety or Staff Welfare because nobody would say anything to Ofsted.

Exactly the same was done to another school I was working at and that was in 2009. The detail was different but the generic 'safeguarding' label was the same. (And my daughter's primary school was suddenly put in Special Measures because what some Mums, taking sides in a Staff Room falling out, said when the Ofsted Inspector surveyed opinion. It was deemed a 'fundamental and catastrophic failure of leadership'. That falling out was an ugly business, to be frank, but not that uncommon in schools.)

I sincerely hope CGS's culture is transformed, but I doubt that will happen. I do hope I am wrong on that.

I feel for the pupils who have clearly been badly treated by their peers and appallingly let down by School Staff and, in particular, School Leadership.


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