Ofsted Inspection 2015

Published on 05 May 2015

Ofsted Inspection 2015

As you know a team of four inspectors from Ofsted visited school on 10th & 11th March.  We expected a visit within two years of the previous inspection which was in April 2013 so it was getting late in the day. 

The team was led by HMI Paul Lawrence and he did a good job with his team in getting out and about around school and into lessons, talking with students and meeting staff. I feel that the report is broadly speaking a fair reflection on Vandyke. It highlights good levels of achievement and students making good progress in all year groups. It reports very favourably on our Sixth Form. I am especially pleased that it recognises that students feel “very proud” of their school and that behaviour is very good and students have “highly constructive attitudes to their learning”.

The areas noted for further development are fair, if a little over-stated.  For example, our work to develop whole school strategies that promote effectively the development of students’ literacy skills has started well but inevitably takes time to become embedded. This we knew and already have detailed plans that we are taking forward so that this practice does become more effective.

Ofsted inspection has become an established part of practice and is unlikely to disappear any time soon.  It is right that schools are held to account   and that parents and others outside of school receive clear information about a school’s performance.  Nevertheless the existing process does create an unhelpful degree of pressure and is notoriously inconsistent in its judgements. In any case I am pleased that another inspection has been successfully navigated. I am also pleased that significant changes are being introduced nationally from September to again alter the inspection process. Depending upon what happens at the general election it seems likely that inspection for a school in Vandyke’s position will become more    frequent but less intensive. The current model is too “high stakes” so I welcome this change of direction.

Our focus continues to be ensuring students enjoy a high quality experience in school and achieve excellent outcomes. The very positive inspection report will only be helpful in doing this.

Finally, many thanks to so many parents who responded to the inspection questionnaire.  Inspectors commented on rarely receiving such universally positive feedback.

Mr Carroll