About “Requires Improvement” – Ofsted 2013.

Ofsted were in school last term, and we were all given a copy of their report last week. It’s not available on Ofsted’s website yet.

We have remained at grade 3. Last time, a 3 was “Satisfactory”. This year, Ofsted have renamed the grade to “Requires Improvement” – Please don’t think that this means things have got worse; reading the report, and comparing to last year, reveals quite the opposite, in fact. But we think that this change of terminology will cause confusion, as it will for many schools, because on the face of it, going from “Satisfactory” to “Requires Improvement” sounds like things have got worse.

A couple of quotes  –

2012: The school failed to meet the government’s current floor standard which sets the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.

2013: The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.

That’s definitely an improvement, for a start. Indeed, the new report states :

Actions taken by senior leaders and governors have led to ongoing improvements in teaching and achievement, particularly in reading and writing, since the last inspection

Since the last inspection, middle leaders have become more involved in checking the quality of teaching and pupils’ work. They provide helpful feedback to individual staff and specific
guidance ,support and training where needed,which has led to improvements in teaching .

Yes there is still work to be done, but every comparison with the past is positive; there is no slippage. It seems that although improvements have been made, it’s not yet been quite enough to move us up to a grade 2, so we stay at 3, and suffer from the renaming of that to make it seem like things have got worse, when the report actually says the opposite.

One further point of interest, especially given the reason for creating this website –

An external review of governance should be undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of  leadership and management may be improved.

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