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Good practice sustained on an overdraft

Our school was subjected to an inspection by the Office for Standards in education in February. The report states that "overall the school is efficient in the use of its resources and provides good value for money".

The first issue for action in the report was to "continue to maintain the significant good practice identified in this report". This would seem a reasonable suggestion, however, in the last year we achieved this "efficiency" and "good value" by overspending our allocation by Pounds 20,000 from our reserves.

Both music and special needs were singled out for praise in the report. We have two part-time teachers who lead in these areas. Next term I have to re-deploy the special needs teacher and the music teacher to take a class.

If the purpose of OFSTED is to raise standards it is nonsensical to ignore the effects of the erosion of school budgets.

However well we plan, organise, and manage there is a limit to our ability to compensate for reduced funding.

SARAH WORSTER Headteacher The Windmill first school Margaret Road Headington Oxford

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