Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

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JIM CURRAN
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Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by JIM CURRAN » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:17 pm

Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors
http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... om-bennett

JIM CURRAN
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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:55 pm

School behaviour tsar appointed to tackle classroom disruption
A new school behaviour tsar will be tasked with stopping low-level disruption in the classroom such as children making silly comments, passing notes to each other and swinging on their chairs, the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, will announce on Tuesday.

In a speech at an academy school in London, she will announce the appointment of Tom Bennett, a teacher and behaviour expert, as part of a push to help teachers deal better with minor misdemeanours that cost pupils on average 38 days of learning a year.
http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... disruption

Elizabeth
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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by Elizabeth » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:07 am

I think Tom will help to improve things. He has the right experience and his comments ring true with me.
Elizabeth

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by JIM CURRAN » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:42 am

Schools spending thousands of pounds of public money trying to unfairly boost Ofsted result
The education watchdog Ofsted is to launch a major crackdown on schools that spend thousands of pounds of public money attempting unfairly to boost their inspection results.
From September, Ofsted inspectors will be banned from taking up lucrative freelance work “moonlighting” in schools to help them prepare for inspections.
Meanwhile the Department for Education said it would clamp down on headteachers using school funds to employ consultants to improve their ratings in a process which is designed to assess fairly how well schools are performing.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 00507.html

Elizabeth
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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by Elizabeth » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:50 am

Good.
Elizabeth

volunteer
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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by volunteer » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:25 pm

That's good. But there are other things about the process which aren't quite right in my view. Our school has just had a two day inspection with one inspector named in the report. The school was "good" beforehand and it has remained "good". But there's stuff in the report that is not strictly accurate and can only have come from what the inspector was told or given to read rather than what he found out from a pupil's book or by watching a lesson etc. So it seems to be possible to "window dress" quite easily before and during the inspection.

Also, the pupils my children saw him speak to are all the ones my children told me the day before that he would speak to, and the day before all the classes were told to be positive in all their answers and not to mention certain things.

If it's a shallow process it can be easily influenced. If it is just purely based on a particular way of analysing results and the inspector not witnessing some things taking place under his nose, then the report should make this clear rather than allowing fancy extras which are not based on reality to be mentioned in the report.

Also, the communication between the inspectorate and parents is pitiful and doesn't take account of the reluctance some parents will have in saying what they really think while their child is at the school. e.g. we were told to contribute to Parentview by 11:00 on the first day. It requires your e-mail address so some parents will fear it is not confidential. Also, it allows no space for narrative or distinguishing between the differing experiences more than one family member might be having at the same school. We were also told we could write in to the inspector and leave it in the school office marked "confidential". That does not feel very confidential or safe from cheating either.

We were not told the inspector would be on the gate - but he was - but how is that going to work either if a parent feels they have something to say that might not be what the school would want them to hear? It's within earshot of other parents and teachers. I think our school had come up with a rota of parents to keep him entertained - I certainly wouldn't have wanted to stand and wait while a particularly jolly and verbose one was in full flow the morning I spotted him standing around.

There are some parents here and there who will just say exactly what they think to whoever, but the ones who probably have something useful to say are the ones that are going to be more circumspect about saying it.

The reports are so inconsistent too. I've just read a report on a Requires Improvement school in the region. It refers in the behaviour section (which is RI) too that behaviour is generally good and there are few instances of poor behaviour but it criticises the fact that the children think that one off bad behaviour is bullying when it is not - there is a persistent nature to bullying which they have not understood.

Our school is "good" on behaviour but there is still this lack of distinction by the children of "bullying" versus isolated instances of bad behaviour - and there is bad behaviour but it certainly would not take place under the inspector's nose on inspection day because the children are wiser than that.

I believed all the recent propoganda about current judgements being tougher .... I'm really not sure. Inconsistency and a lack of accuracy seems to be the theme to me.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:13 pm

I complained formally about an Ofsted inspection to Ofsted and I am disgusted with the charade of both the inspection system and the complaints system.

When you're involved in the case of a child who is being wrongly treated and for the wrong reasons, and you try to do something about it, believe me, every institution and organisation to do with children's education and welfare is set up such that there is no helping in one child's case. The implication is that children's fate is nothing but sheer pot luck.

I won't provide any information here as it will get too involved - but suffice it to say that I am disgusted and disillusioned with all organisations to do with children's education and welfare in that there is no way to actually hold them to account when it boils down to it.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by JIM CURRAN » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:37 pm

"won't provide any information here as it will get too involved - but suffice it to say that I am disgusted and disillusioned with all organisations to do with children's education and welfare in that there is no way to actually hold them to account when it boils down to it."

Unfortunately Debbie, I think you may be right but as we know it's not just in education that this holds true but almost every institutional authority where everything will be done to protect authority and shoot the messenger. You only have to look at the fate of most whistleblowers to understand why most people stay quiet.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by volunteer » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:53 pm

Yes, unfortunately you are right in my experience. I possibly had more luck with the quality care commission and a private nursing home - but that might just have been a matter of luck and their judgement was still overly rosy considering what I had seen from the inside.

All these systems seem to rely on a good dose of honesty and professionalism - where this is lacking there is no hope as neither children nor old people make reliable witnesses nor would we wish to force them to be.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:32 pm

as neither children nor old people make reliable witnesses nor would we wish to force them to be.
That's one aspect or complication of injustice and unaccountably - but I was a reliable witness or 'specialist' in so many ways in the case concerned, but that was totally disregarded. The child's father and I brought plenty of evidence to the table - it was Ofsted that did not - and would not.

Apart from anything else, I'm a long-standing specialist at cutting to the chase of the matter and unpicking what the 'issues' are both orally and via writing - but it was nothing short of a farce taking a complaint to Ofsted - and associated organisations - school, Local Authority (various personnel), MPs, Children's Commissioner, DfE, solicitors, Ofsted ombudsman - all disinterested, or hands tied (so they said) and unaccountable.

The joke is that the Children's Commissioner's surveys and reports about illegal exclusions pointed out the total lack of any appropriate organisations being interested or accountable re illegal exclusions - with the exception of Ofsted in part.

So, I took this information and quoted Sir Michael Wilshaw's own words back to him - to no avail.

Then, the Children's Commissioner states that the Commissioner has 'no authority' and was not able to look into 'individual cases'.

Ofsted uses that very same excuse - as do other organisations.

On repeat phoning of the 'number' provided for legal advice by the DfE, no actual person ever answered so that was basically a dead end.

But the country's children are made up of individuals - and it is the individual cases that exemplify things going fundamentally wrong which will inevitable affect other individuals.

As I said, so what is the point of all these organisations - we could save money without them - and they give people false hope that someone is looking after the interests of vulnerable people - young and old.

My experience is that they are not and people are duped into thinking they can 'reach' and hold to account these faceless organisations and institutions.

If someone like me with my extensive lobbying experience cannot penetrate the 'systems' to hold those within such organisations to account, what hope is there for parents and others who are not used to dealing with organisations such as Ofsted?

Ofsted instructed us to go through the 'Freedom of Information' act to obtain the specific information we sought to be able to understand the case better as we disputed the official judgements of a school.

Guess what, no joy there.

Then, a well-known headteacher wrote a heartfelt and detailed description of his experience of complaining to Ofsted via TES and Twitter I think, and although his school's case and mine were not at all similar, our experiences with Ofsted sounded extremely similar so I was able to concur with his experiences and comments.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by volunteer » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:47 pm

Unfortunately, I think you are absolutely right Debbie. Hopefully, we have had isolated bad experiences but I suspect not. A lot of these regulatory / inspection organisations seem to be there "just for the sake of it" and their stated mission etc is never achieved either because it's unachievable with the resources or because they don't actually care.

It seems that these days unless you get an expensive lawyer, a publicist and an investigative journalist interested in what you're doing and you're ready to put things from your iPhone on Youtube that you have recorded without people's permission, there's not much chance.

While you're trying to get good service / justice whatever, the old person dies of neglect, the child grows up and misses education, the mentally ill person gets more desperate.

Sometimes some change happens later as a result of what you did ------ I've seen that happen a few times with a few battles I have had but it's been too late for the individuals for whom I was battling. At least though you know you did your best and maybe something changed behind the scenes which no-one is going to admit to publicly.

Sometimes just a "sorry" would go a long way and a signpost to somewhere else that does care e.g. a nursing home that will really take care of your relative, or a great school with spaces and patience or a good counsellor for the mentally ill.

Sorry you have had such bad experiences. I guess the problem is that public bodies have too many people to look after for the money that is available so the benchmark of what is "acceptable" has to be quite low ....... perhaps less regulation and spending the savings on the services themselves would be better.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by JIM CURRAN » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:03 pm

Unfortunately in the care field qualifications are very low and in many cases nonexistent and in tandem wages are usually on or below the minimum wage.As we are all to well aware this is a proven recipe for disaster.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:18 pm

But Ofsted qualifications should be very high - as should the Children's Commissioner.

Ironically, the one person who seemed genuinely sympathetic was the MP for Salisbury - but apparently he could not represent me because I am not one of his constituents although the child concerned was.

What a ridiculous state of affairs.

Thank you, Jim and Volunteer, for your postings.

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Re: Schools 'ignore bad behaviour' to fool Ofsted inspectors

Post by volunteer » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:35 pm

It's frustrating when you get nowhere in the way you feel was the case Debbie - but you never know, you may have sewn some seeds doubts into the heads of people about their approach and it could make a difference to someone somewhere in the future. It's easy to give up and think it's not ever worth standing up against something that is wrong because you're never going to change anything but that's not right. It sounds as though you put a lot of time, care and emotional energy into whatever it was and feel there is no "reward" back as it has made no difference for the child. It will have made a big difference to the parent that you were on "their side" and in turn this will have done the child good in an indirect way.

And hopefully for every OFSTED inspector / inspection that we feel is wrong or unfair in some way there are many, many more that have served some good purpose.

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