Ofsted acumen less than 'satisfactory'

8th January 2010 at 00:00

We have been the subject of an Ofsted inspection earlier this term, and as well as adding my voice to that of the letter you published from Peter Baker, chair of our local secondary heads forum (December 18), I wrote a letter to Christine Gilbert for which I am yet to receive a reply.

In it, I try to convey the problem that Ofsted leaves us with following a visit earlier this term where, in spite of receiving many "good" judgments, we were rated overall as only "satisfactory". And this is largely because of our English results, which have proved so stubborn against our efforts to move them upwards. We are, as you might have guessed, serving a challenging community with severe levels of deprivation.

The letter the lead inspector wrote to our students contained the following sentence: "Your headteacher, along with her team, is working tirelessly to ensure your school makes your experience in education enjoyable and successful. You can of course contribute to this by attending regularly, practicing your grammar and spelling and working as hard as you can in all lessons to achieve your best."

Some 90 per cent of my own Set 3 Year 11 English students could not only spell "practising" correctly, but also could spell "irony". Sometimes, a smile keeps us going; Ofsted certainly does not.

Mike Kent, page 44

Jan Palmer Sayer, Headteacher, Hertswood School, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now