I am a MFL and ICT teacher and have taught in inner city and rural schools over the last 15 years. In my role as SCITT Programme Leader, I am privileged to work with staff and children in a huge range of schools in my local area.
Having spent some time this summer holidays preparing training sessions for our trainees, I have become engrossed in Melissa Benn's book, School Wars, where she mirrors exactly my views on support our local state schools. Hence my registration to your worthy cause.
My employing school is an Ofsted Outstanding school, where my children could attend. However, I have chosen to send them to our local schools - the secondary which during their last inspection was graded as RI. I am questioned continually by some parents as to why I am sending my daughter to my local school when she could attend my school, which is out of catchment, and according to Ofsted is far "better." My argument, " because it's our local school" does not seem to wash against some of the views of the local parents. Many parents, who were quite happy to send their children to our local primary (Ofsted Good), on transition to Secondary, choose to put their children on trains and buses to out of catchment schools, send their children to private schools or move!
My local secondary is very likely to be inspected again this Autumn and again the likely outcome will be RI. There are many great changes taking place following the appointment of a new Head a couple of years ago, but there is unlikely to be a huge change in pupil achievement data for a little while yet. Some of our local parents are likely to see 'Requires Improvement' on the report and not delve into the finer detail about how the school has a very strong pastoral system in place now, how the children are on the whole, happy and well cared for and the huge wealth of enriching experiences that our local community school, has to offer.
The proof will be in the pudding but I believe that I have made the right choice for my daughter, as she makes the move into Year 7 this September. I intend to do everything I can to support my local school as a parent and professionally, as I place 2 of my trainees with them also in September.
I could wax lyrical about how it's not all about Ofsted!