Think critically about Ofsted

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Jolesfield C of E Primary School has always been such a happy learning environment. That is until the Ofsted report was published.

As my son attends Jolesfield, I felt that it was important to attend Monday’s meeting to address concerns about the report.

I can understand why parents were outraged. However, as a teacher myself (secondary school) it is perhaps easier for me to take a more critical view of Ofsted.

It seems to me that Ofsted have focused in on a small part of the school and have unfairly judged the whole school on this narrow viewpoint.

Sadly, judging by Monday’s meeting, many parents are doing the same because they trust Ofsted.

But what parents have not taken into account is that Ofsted get told what to do by the government.

Remember Michael Gove and the government want to privatise schools and turn them into business (academies). A school isn’t a business: it should be a safe and happy environment where children are able to learn and thrive as individuals.

We shouldn’t be attacking our children’s teachers because this is the time that they need our support to improve the school.

Like us they are horrified and saddened by the report. After all their hard work for our children, they must feel totally demoralised.

Many are the same teachers that were judged as outstanding only a few years ago. Outstanding teachers don’t suddenly become ineffective: this just doesn’t add up.

Remember, teachers are the ones that can turn things around for the school. We need to unite, support the teachers and turn our attention to a bigger concern which is that Jolesfield may become an academy. Good teachers don’t want to work at academies.

What is the greater indictor of success in a school: a happy child making progress or an Ofsted report?

My son loves school and has made outstanding progress this year. As a parent, what more can I ask for?

Ask yourselves: how did you feel about your child’s education before the Ofsted report?

If you already had serious concerns, then I respect that. If, like me, you child is happy and thriving then I ask you to think critically about Ofsted and make up your own mind.

ELIZABETH DAVEY

Wantley Hill estate, Henfield