What’s the easiest way to a secondary Ofsted Outstanding?

Secondary school leaders would like to think that they are judged on the difference they make and not on the pure outcomes of their school irrespective of context.  The whole language of the most recent framework is about progress made, taking into account pupils and schools various starting points.  While there has to be regard to national average attainments, there is a general sense that Ofsted inspectors try to take into account starting points when judging a school.

But are they succeeding?  For example, do those schools which have low prior-attainment intakes have that taken into account properly?  Do those with very able intakes get the appropriate challenge from Ofsted?   Continue reading

Does Ofsted have selective judgement?

What the data says about selective schools and Ofsted

A few weeks ago, Ian Widdows replied to my Swarm blogpost asking if the Swarm could highlight Secondary Modern schools as a group, and Grammar Schools as a group. Ian is part of an association of Secondary Modern schools, and he feels there is some bias in Ofsted judgements against Secondary Modern schools. At the time, the Swarm didn’t include data on admission policies. I can’t include all the DfE data or the Swarm would be slow, but I have now added admission policy. Both Secondary Moderns and Grammars appear as a “virtual LA” in the LA dropdown list.
Here is a picture of the Secondary Moderns: Continue reading

Where are you in the Swarm?

Of course, like most data geeks, I love the performance tables. In 1994, the publication of data about school performance was a revolution, and like most revolutions was greeted with horror and satisfaction depending on your prejudices. In the decade since, there has been much debate about the performance table data but usually with more heat then light being shed. We’ve been through Continue reading

Displaying student progress visually – flight paths

“Progress” has been the new buzzword in school improvement and inspection for the last two years now. It makes a lot of sense, especially to parents. “Are students making good progress?” is exactly what parents want to know. Schools do hold a lot of data about this, but they hold such a vast quantity of information acquired through pupil tracking systems that they have difficulty in getting a clear picture of it for themselves. Furthermore, school tracking data is often unfathomable to parents, especially in Key Stage 3. So what to do? Continue reading