Island schools region’s greatest challenge, Ofsted finds

By a County Press reporter

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

 

EDUCATION watchdog Ofsted has said the Isle of Wight presents the region’s greatest challenge.

In its first ever report into education standards in the South East, published today (Wednesday), Ofsted said 86 per cent of Island secondary school pupils were in schools that were less than good.

It added that 68 per cent were in schools graded inadequate.

The report stated: "In response to this, we decided to prioritise the Isle of Wight’s school inspection services for inspection. This was one of the first such inspections nationwide."

Ofsted said inspectors found the local authority’s approach to school improvement lacked coordination and did not have the confidence of schools.

Key decisions about resource deployment, school organisation and place planning had been characterised by poor analysis, limited consultation and weak implementation.

The report concluded: "The result is too many children and young people on the Isle of Wight still lack access to a good education."

View the report below:

Ofsted South East Regional Report

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Displaying the last 10 of 36 comments - Show All Comments

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by david wright

14th December 2013, at 11:29:37

@DB My point was Trinity was a good school year after year surely we should know why it was so good? Obviously it had good management and teaching and the children excelled so why? Is it not worth examining what they did ? For example when my son went there and the uniform was blazer and tie when the other schools were wearing sloppy scruffy sweatshirts. The other schools have changed now to blazer and tie, i wonder why?Lessons should be learnt from excellence surely?
@DS What you fail to grasp is no matter what Trinitys catchment was they still achieved year on year with state resources. There was no 11 plus to stream bright children the intake they received was children of any educational standard and still year on year got the best results.No matter how you look at it they managed to turn a pigs ear into a silk purse but others schools just moaned about pigs ears!!!

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by David Blackford

14th December 2013, at 06:20:50

I wish we'd stop talking about good and bad schools - Schools are just buildings - Talk about good and bad teaching, good and bad management.

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by David Shoulder

13th December 2013, at 23:43:23

All research shows parental support is by a long way the most important factor in a childs education. However my main point is for many many years and almost without exception Island schools have performed below national average and in most cases in the bottom quartile. The problem is too general and been too widespread across the Island to pin the outcome against individual schools. There is a very significant Island factor at the root of the problem. Trinity no doubt had excellent leadership but the main factor was catchment and cohort.

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by david wright

13th December 2013, at 23:07:48

Its chicken and egg isnt it? A good school attracts parents to send their children to it doesnt it ? Trinity had a catchment area and limited intake of children outside that area it did not 'cream off' any children from other schools as such. Plus you fall into the old trap that aspirational parents will have able children. Just because parents are involved does not make the child achieve. I know many parents banging their heads against the wall because of rubbish teaching and schools just as there are teachers in despair because of the lack of parental support. Looking at just one failing is not the answer. Looking at WHY Trinity succeded is the answer and it was because it was a very good school and no other reason! Why is it you presume because a good school succeeds their job is easier than a failing school?? Strange logic surely. You cannot blame parents for failing schools ultimately all schools have the same opportunities some succeed some dont what does that tell you??

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by David Shoulder

13th December 2013, at 22:22:21

@DW Trinity - CTK has attracted motivated and aspirational parents. As parental imput is fundamentally important their children will generally be higher achievers. In many ways a de facto grammar school through the back door. Their results will be higher for the same reasons that Ryde School are higher. The sad thing is by creaming these children other local schools have lost a lot of valuable parental resource making their job even harder. I agree we should always look at good practice but to be practical Ryde School or CTK have a much easier job. Their example will not provide the fundamental answers required to address the general apathy towards education from many island parents.

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by david wright

13th December 2013, at 21:00:53

@SS Yes teachers do work hard and some work longer hours than others but dont forget it is a well paid job and others in well paid jobs outside education also work hard under pressure. You are giving an example of the hardest working teacher but there are also some who do not work anything like the hours you say! I worked in a school for 16 years so can say with some credibility that some work harder than others.
@DS David you know as well as I do that parents are like teachers there are good and bad ,some conciencious about educating children some not. What interests me is Schools that DO perform like Trinity school as it was, schools that perform year on year. Now those in failing schools would say ah yes but the parents there are full on and involved in supporting their children. I would say maybe, but Trinity where my son went, and was brilliantly educated despite his difficulties, was a brilliantly run school and thats what made it good!! Thats what we need well run schools!

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by Mike Crowe

13th December 2013, at 15:49:23

David I too have been a teacher in an adult environment and can endorse everything you say. I have taught Adult Telephone Engineers from Apprentices to Seniors. I have taught Adults in Prison and taught at the Isle of Wight College.

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by Stephen Spacagna

13th December 2013, at 10:21:50

Short hours! I am disgusted that this myth keeps getting wheeled out when someone decides to bash teachers. I know about the presures of work and health risks of a primary teacher working from eight thirty to five every day with some children starting school not knowing their own name, not toilet trained and unable to use a knife and fork. Short hours what a laugh! more like a minimum of sixty hours a week including preperation, monitoring progress. marking and lesson planning, risk assessments. Parent Evenings.Saturdays putting up displays and supporting P.TA. activities, , Global Rock,,Carol services for local elderly people, parties for local disabled Children, Fetes and fairs . Six week summer holidays? No! two weeks packing up and putting away, plus, two weeks preparing for the new term and moving desks and cupboards around to squeze in an extra three children. With Ofsted rubbishing quality Teachers at every opportunity and constant conflicting advice from so called advisors

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by David Blackford

13th December 2013, at 07:19:20

I am glad that Mark J has brought the question of standards of teachers into the open. My experience in this area is limited and I am sure that most teachers are dedicated and professional. Sadly I think that for some it may be just a well paid job with short hours and long holidays. We hear of hours spent doing lesson preparation. I have been a teacher in an adult environment and I know that once your lesson plans are prepared they only have to be tidied up now and again. Teachers, as in all other work environments are probably nervous about criticising their work colleagues and I wonder if even some heads don't face up to their responsibilities of monitoring the quality of their staff

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by David Shoulder

13th December 2013, at 06:33:42

@ DW. I have had longstanding and relevant experience as parent and governor. Yes my conclusion is there is a fundemental and complex IOW factor that is root cause of our poor levels of attainment over many years. Why else would the problem have been so consistently islandwide? My best attempt to descibe this factor "islanditis". Of course layered over it issues from reorganisation, recession and low morale. If the Island is ever going to turn this tanker around it will have to find a way of engaging Island families with the realities of the real world over the water.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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