Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Kennington Schools - Ofsted reports and meeting for concerned parents

I've been emailed a flyer which suggests that parents in Kennington are concerned that two local primary schools are in "special measures" and would like to meet to discuss their options.  Click the poster to view a larger copy to discover where/when the meeting takes place:

Being placed in special measures means that Ofsted judge that a school does not provide an acceptable level of education and lacks the leadership capacity to improve matters.  The local schools that have been / were placed under special measures are Henry Fawcett Primary School and Vauxhall Primary School (see here for large .zip file of the data as at 31st March 2010 from Ofsted).  Note that as of 9th/10th June 2010 (date of last inspection), Henry Fawcett is deemed no longer to be in special measures.  Therefore, the poster above is somewhat misleading.

I cannot imagine how it must feel to teach or lead a school placed in special measures so I really hope that the parents at those two schools are rallying together to be as supportive of the staff as they can.  It would be very interesting to see if the wider Kennington and Vauxhall community could think of ways to offer their talents to the schools that do not make the grade that would give the children at those schools a boost, but I'm not altogether inclined to think that Londoners are necessarily so community minded.  Whilst being placed in special measures is something of an indictment on a school, I do wonder whether the school intake at both of the schools that were originally placed in special measures comprises of a larger number of children who speak English as a second language, and who are entitled to free school meals (indicating poverty).  Note that the most recent Henry Fawcett Ofsted report states "Attendance has risen, but not at a pace that matches the improvements in other areas, despite the school's strenuous efforts." which rather implies that the staff are working with a set of parents who don't place a high value on education and potentially have lower aspirations for their children.

As far as I know, there are seven primary schools in SE11 and Ofsted rate schools Overall effectiveness with the grades Outstanding, Good, Satisfactory and Inadequate.  I've provided links to all of the Ofsted reports so that anybody interested can analyse further:

Archbishop Sumner (C of E) - 2009 Ofsted Report judged school as Outstanding
Charlotte Sharman - 2009 Ofsted Report judged school as Satisfactory
Henry Fawcett - 2010 Ofsted Report judged school as Satisfactory
St Anne's Catholic Primary School (RC) - 2008 Ofsted Report judged school as Good
St Mark's (C of E) - 2008 Ofsted Report judged school as Good
Vauxhall Primary School  - 2010 Ofsted Report judged school as Good
Walnut Tree Walk Primary School - 2010 Ofsted Report judged school as Good

I'm not surprised that having two of seven schools in special measures (or recently placed as such) is causing consternation amongst local parents.  If you're not religious and don't wish to enter into attending church for the sake of your child's education, you have a choice of only four schools, two of which are or have recently been in special measures and a third of which is judged only as satisfactory.  This, I imagine, puts considerable pressure on places at Walnut Tree Walk.


Michael said...

Thank you for providing some much needed additional information and balance on this subject.
I have to say that I was disturbed to receive this flyer, as I am not aware of either this being an issue with parents getting a primary school place or an overwelming disquite about the level of teaching and options for Kennington parents when it comes to primary school choices.
I really hope that parents are not alarmed to receive this leaflet or the implication that somehow we are receiving sub standard education in Kennington.
Certainly as a father of 4 with three of children at Walnut Tree Walk and my youngest about to start nursery at the Ethelred I have not heard of any discussion or worry about this at the school gate.
I know that Archbishop's is very popular faith school and is overscribed, but this hardly a crisis, and if anything is a complement to the teaching in the area. Lambeth's education standards continue to rise and results are improving.
My only concern and the only one that I have heard expressed is the new governments plans for free schools and the effect that this will have on the funding for all schools. Equally the failure of the new Government to commit to Sure Start funding, Children Centres, their halting of Building Schools for the Future programme and their general cuts agenda is the source of most discussion. I really hope that this is a geninue comminuty led organisation, concerned with Educational options in Kennington, rather than some political front.
I can only say that I remain a very satisfied parent and confident in the options available to me and my children.

Anonymous said...

very unlikely to be a political front - we're just a few months beyond the local elections

sbo said...

Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never sbobet
seem to get there! Many thanks.

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