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Special Measures For One Of My Main Feeder Schools


bubblejack
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One of my main feeder schools has just been put on special measures. They have 1 year to address the weaknesses, Reception classes are O.K. as these children have a good sound knowledge in all the learning areas. Many parents have asked my opinion. My gut feeling is to tell them to support the school but they are all very shocked at the moment and I don't know what advice to give them. I have not come across this situation before.

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This is a difficult situation Bubblejack. Do you know the school well? I assume you do? I must be honest and say that we have never had the situation in the area where I live and have my pre-school. A friend of mine teaches in a school that was almagamated a few years ago-infant school with junior school. The junior school was quite poor at the time and this put the whole school into special measures.

Rats and sinking ships springs to mind, which is what might happen. Of course this doesn't help the school at all but you can understand why parents would do this. I suppose your advise would depend on how much you know about the school and the situation as it stands. Do you know anybody on the governing body or closely connected with the schoolthat you could perhaps talk to?

Linda

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I have worked in 3 schools that have been in either special measure or serious weaknesses, including where I work now. All have been turned around by a new managment structure and totally dedicated staff. In all cases, the numbers of children fell significantly, only to pick up again later on, as the schools were seen to be improving. The school my daughter went to also was put into special measures when she was in year 6, and yes we were all shocked, but Im convinced that she still did as well there as she would have done if we had moved her to another school just for year 6.

 

I think it really does depend on the reasons for the position the school is in- if its a managment issue, you will find the Head probably resigning and a new Head coming in, and they can change things within a year. In 2 of the schools I have experience of, foundation had no problems, but because the KS2 was in a mess, their results were poor.

You may well find that a lot of the staff resign, this is quite normal, but often they are replaced by very highly experienced staff, often seconded from other schools that have had similar problems, and know what need to be done to turn things around.

The other thing to rememeber is that schools that are struggling get a lot of support, and this can be better for the childen in the long run. Also, an influx of children into other schools in the area could result in the problem we now have-overcrowding and very thinly stretched resourses.

 

If you cant find out anything by talking to other people , then I would wait for the report to come out rather than advising parents one way or the other. Id be quite honest and say that you dont know enough about the situation (yet) to be able to say what they should do.

 

hope that help

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Hi bubblejack, I agree with Mundia. I'd try and stay out of it though as best you can. Whats the school reputation like?

 

My sons attended the local Beacon primary school-staus awarded while they were there but it wasn't all good news, actually put tremendous pressure on the children as school was desparate not to loose its status!

 

Susan

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Thanks for your comments. You have given me lots of positive thoughts to pass on to parents if I am asked to comment again.What will happen they do not meet the standards after a year?.Will it be re-opened under a different name or will all the children have to be split up between all the other schools in my area.?

I have heard about "failing schools" but have not come into contact with one directly. I take the childrens observation records into the school and have the opportunity to pass on any concerns I have. The school always appreciate this and are there to offer me any help or advice, unlike some of my feeder schools.

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I think very few schools actually close unless there are real issues over falling numbers or building poroblems. Usually they would close in the summer and reopen in the septemeber under a new name, new managment, new everything but the chidlren would remain there.

But thats a long way off yet, most schools are able to turn things around in the year when the right people are put in place to get the job done. :o

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Hi Bubblejack, sounds to me that if you're asked again you say how you find it--that should be reassurance for most parents.

My own experiences of Ofsted would leave me being very open minded about any judgements that are made or not. But thats another story!

 

Susan

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I'm Early Years Governor at a Primary that went into Serious Weaknesses last summer. It was a shock to all concerned, staff, governors and parents but the solidarity of the parents was amazing. We had had a change of head prior to the Ofsted and until then everything seemed fine. I would say that over the last 2 years or thereabouts the goalposts have changed considerably, and in many cases schools have relied on their previous reputation and may be failed to address the new issues, therefore failed to keep up. I had the dubious privilege of having to go to Ofsted in London to present out action plan. It was a very positive experience and enabled us to address the challenges very positively as it reinforced the way forward. Don't be afraid to stand beside your teaching staff who will be feeling very very vulnerable at the moment - tears and guilt will be commonplace but will not acknowledge the enormous input that they have given over the years - I feel for you and the staff - we all have a heart for the children and the enormity of the task ahead but with clear leadership and the support of the LEA advisory team (whose services will be free from now on!!!!!!!!) you CAN and WILL turn it around. Get as involved as you can in the action plan and help see it implemented. It will be revolutionary but it has to be a team approach. We have had no staff leave as a result of the Ofsted - rather they have entered new phase and the turnaround in our case has been profound - the children are now in much smaller groupings, teaching more targetted (what ofsted want to see) and we are really motoring......... HMI say they will give you up to a year before they come and inspect - in our case that was not more than 7 months but they were so impressed with the progress we had made in that time. Please be encouraged - no staff left, little if any pupils left, the parents were behind us and the buzz is immense - it is hard work but it is achieveable.........

GOD BLESS!

Lisa

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