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Season 1 Episode 9 - Ofsted, 'inadequate' and an unconquerable soul: fixing broken schools

In this episode Executive Headteacher Julie Hiddleston shares her story of how she went to a 'broken' school - rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted, with the determination to turn it around and make a positive difference to the staff, children and families of that community.  She talks about the challenges along the way and the strategies to maintain resilient, positive approaches in the face of adversity. She also shares insights into the role of Executive Headteacher and the importance of professional development for all staff at all stages of their teaching careers.

Eighty-six per cent of all schools are good or outstanding. This proportion has remained fairly stable over the last 3 years but prior to that had climbed steadily from 68% in August 2010.

There are four main categories of overall judgement on a school’s effectiveness:

• Outstanding (Grade 1)

• Good (Grade 2)

• Requires Improvement (Grade 3)

• Inadequate (Grade 4)

Schools graded inadequate – serious weakness and special measures

The inadequate grading is subdivided into two further categories.

Schools with serious weaknesses (and in need of significant improvement) are those which:

Have one or more of the key judgements graded inadequate (grade 4) and/ or have important weaknesses in the provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

In line with Section 44 of the Education Act 2005, as amended, a school is deemed to require special measures if:

• It is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and

• The persons responsible for leading, managing or governing are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.

Schools in poor white communities are much more likely to be rated "inadequate" or "requires improvement" by Ofsted compared with those in deprived, non-white British areas. (TES, 2018)

While nearly half (47 per cent) of the most deprived secondary schools with a "high percentage" of white British pupils are rated "inadequate" or "requires improvement", the proportion is just 18 per cent for similarly deprived schools where most pupils are non-white British.

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