Outstanding Schools could be downgradedBy Laura Herbert
March 05, 2012
Four ‘outstanding’ schools in Bracknell Forest could be downgraded as part of tough inspection rules introduced by Ofsted.
The measures, due to be introduced this autumn, would mean any school that does not achieve ‘outstanding’ for quality of teaching would not be rated ‘outstanding’ overall.
Six schools in the borough have been rated ‘outstanding’ overall by the education watchdog, but Edgbarrow School in Grant Road, Crowthorne, Ascot Heath Infants School in Rhododendron Walk, Ascot, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Gipsy Lane, Bracknell, and St Michael’s School in Lower Church Road in Sandhurst, all face being downgraded.
Uplands Primary School in Albion Road, Sandhurst, and Whitegrove Primary School in Westmorland Drive, Warfield, are not at risk of being downgraded as both schools received an ‘outstanding’ rating for quality of teaching.
Ofsted rates schools as ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ or ‘inadequate’ in achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.
Councillor Alan Kendall, executive member for education, feels there is disparity between the overall rating and sub-category grades within a report, and a focus on one area can influence the overall rating.
He said: “Part of the problem, which I have always said, is the way the reports are constructed. For example, a school could be satisfactory but looking through the various grades there could be grades three and two, and something ‘outstanding’ but they could never get a ‘good’ qualification.
“I think it needs evening out. Sometimes a good thing gets overlooked.
“The new framework has a reduction in the number of judgements and inspectors are spending are greater amount of time observing teaching and the quality of teaching and leadership.”
He added: “I think really it is more a change in focus and emphasis. In principle I think it is a good thing for people to have a challenge and reassess things. It is not about being complacent as I have never met anyone who has been complacent about anything in our schools, but there are occasions when I think there have been some judgements that have been a bit hard because the focus has been on something and this has affected the overall judgement.
“I hope the schools are regarded as having improved and having good teaching and learning as we support the school as much as we can.”
There are 31 primary schools in Bracknell Forest, five secondary schools, two special schools and one academy.