We’ve just had a letter through the door and I’m slightly panicked.
It’s from our borough council advising us that our Headmaster of over 20 years is going to take early retirement because the Ofsted inspection they had a few weeks back was “disappointing”.
Well, there is a lot to take in on this.
Firstly that the Ofsted inspection was disappointing is of major concern to me. Last inspection had it listed as “good” and I was happy with that. I know Ofsted isn’t the be all and end all of a school, which is why I visited the school and many others, but I think it’s a good barometer of how hard the headmaster and teachers work within the confines of the system.
Secondly that a trusted and well liked Headmaster is leaving. That gives me the collywobbles. If his replacement isn’t someone who all of our teachers get on well with, then we could see them start to drop like flies. I’m worried that the likes of the head of the infant department, a woman who far exceeds her role and is sensible, down to earth and a brilliant teacher will decide she can no longer stay.
In general I’m worried for the school. I love the school a lot. It’s got a small school feel to it (despite 3 form entry) and it has a sensible approach to most things, which I love. For example:
We were given no “rules” at the start of the year. My friend’s school were told they had to invite the whole class to parties, No sweet things in lunch boxes, no photos at school shows.. blah blah blah. No rules for us. Other than a sensible nut allergy rule and no chocolate bars (chocolate is fine on top of a biscuit).
I only had my 2nd parent evening last week when, after the academic chat, I asked about the social aspect of Pickle’s days at school. I said “I’m sorry if that sounds a bit weird, I kind of think the social part is as important as the academic part at this age, because she will learn the rules of friendship ect.. “. Her teacher replied “Oh yes, definitely. I think its more important in some ways”. We then went on to talk about the dynamics of the girls group that had formed and she told me how she was going to teach them things to try to change it’s course. I love her.
I’m really panicked about this change to the school. Right when so much else is changing there as well. This year saw the first 3 form entry and as a result building work is underway for Year 1 expansion for next year and then further work is scheduled next year to increase every year to 3 form. We really didn’t need this news.
What will it mean going forward if a bad Ofsted is published? Will all the parents next year and for the next 3 years choose other schools over us? Will it be that only the lethargic parents end up there? Will this affect the school going forward? What I loved about this school was its cultural and demographical mix. Poor, well off, Asian, black, chinese, White and everything in between.
Has anyone else experienced issues around bad Ofsted results, the loss of a headmaster or BOTH? Am really looking for some good news stories now.