January 10th 2019
OFSTED Monitoring Visit Update
Following our first OFSTED monitoring visit in December, I am writing to inform you in advance that the report from the visit will be published over the course of the next week on both the OFSTED and Edge websites. In the meantime, I feel as always as Principal that it is important that I am open and transparent with you and share the key findings of the report beforehand. I will of course be present at our next scheduled Parents’ Evening on Thursday January 17th 4-6pm and am happy to discuss the report in person with all who can attend.
The report acknowledges the progress we have made in the first term since the full OFSTED inspection of the Summer Term 2018, stating that “the newly formed leadership team is working collaboratively to bring about positive change” and that “[The Principal] and other senior leaders have taken swift action to begin to address many of the failings identified at the last inspection”. The report also emphasises that the “root and branch” reviews we commissioned last term “have supported leaders in gaining an accurate view of the school’s strengths and areas for development”.
In addition, the report highlights the individual areas in which we have already secured improvements, underlining the “improving picture in teaching”, the “significant improvement in pupils’ attendance”, “the effective system for assessment that now provides accurate judgements about pupils’ attainment”, “the developing leadership of SEN” and the fact that “leaders have worked hard to successfully reduce the rate of exclusion”.
Importantly, the report recognises the effectiveness of the support we receive from governors and external partners “who provide an additional level of challenge through the recently formed post-OFSTED improvement board, which now meets monthly….members provide a high degree of challenge and clearly hold leaders to account”.
Although the report summary accepts our school improvement plan and our governors’ statement of intent as “fit for purpose”, I do not shy away from the fact that it also states that we are not yet “taking effective action towards the removal of special measures”. A key area for development from the report is that “a lack of management oversight in relation to safeguarding has meant this crucially important area has not been afforded the full attention it warrants”. As a result we will be continuing to make safeguarding our key priority over the coming months, we have immediately strengthened our safeguarding team this term by adding Adam Smith, our experienced Vice Principal who joined us last term, Jas Greene and Carrie Houghton. We will also be focusing closely this term on attendance and punctuality to lessons, developing our Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance alongside our continuing work on our “Safe, Ready, Respectful” ethos with Pivotal Education.
We have continued to strengthen our wider staff since the Autumn Term and are delighted to welcome Andrew Bates (Teacher of Maths) and Katie Stone (Learning Support Assistant) to the school from January. We also look forward to welcoming Calum Hill who will join as our new Lead Teacher of Mathematics in February. Sue Herbert departed at the end of the Autumn Term and we wish her well for the future.
In summary, we fully accept all findings of the report and are moving quickly on addressing all areas for development raised. We will be continuing to work relentlessly on our journey towards becoming a “good” school and truly becoming a school that “shapes the futures” of our students effectively. Once more, I would like to thank you all for your continued support. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions regarding this letter, my direct e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.