Secondary

Ofsted Inspection tightens noose around six Nottingham Secondary Schools

As part of the exercise to pinpoint the reasons why some schools and academies in Nottingham are not performing as well as some others in other parts of the country, Schools Watchdog Ofsted early this month carried out eight spot-checks.

According to available reports, the Watchdog have identified six Nottingham schools – Djanogly City Academy in Forest Fields; Bulwell Academy; Nottingham University Samworth Academy and Hadden Park High in Bilborough; Big Wood School in Warren Hill; and Farmborough School in Clifton as underperformers putting them under special “surveillance” rating their teaching as “not up to the mark.”

Random observations

The bad news is that Hadden Park High, one of the six that have now come up under adverse notice, is already due for academy status affiliated to Bluecoat Academy in Aspley due to a similar finding earlier this year.

Besides, another school named Ellis Guilford School of Basford has also been rated in “requires improvement” category a second time.

But, one silver lining is that out of eight schools inspected this month, one called Nottingham Girls’ Academy in Aspley is reported to have “passed”.

Implications

As a consequence, these schools are required to come up with fast-track plans for improvement, apart from having to be subjected to frequent inspections. Of course, the authorities also have plans to help them through high-performing schools from within or outside the city.

Stigma

Special inspections, according to general perception, mean a stigma for the teaching faculty who detest it and grow apprehensive about possible migration of meritorious students to other schools.

Further, one Nottingham teacher told this Post: “The situation is really disturbing, and constructive action for the future to improve matters is of paramount importance; these developments will do little for morale-boosting for teachers.”

He however admitted, “It’s but proper that schools and academies are made accountable for dismal performance. Short-cuts would not work, only sustained efforts need be taken during the upcoming years for reversing this trend.”

Dissenting voice

Notwithstanding the above views and reports, Nottingham North MP Graham Allen representing the constituency covering the schools, opined that those inspections were carried out “undeservedly” on these schools. He further vouchsafed, “At a time when the teachers and students are working hard gradually improving results, inspections of this sort would be sending a discouraging message.” “Three inspections in three years for one particular school, unthinkable,” he said

Immediately following the inspectors’ week-long inspection commencing Nov 11, the head teachers were given first a verbal report of their findings, which is to be followed up with written reports around Dec 9 to parents and teachers, which, it is feared, will tighten their noose.