One-word judgements 'misleading' says head after 'inadequate' report

One-word judgements 'misleading' says head after 'inadequate' report <i>(Image: Arnewood)</i>
One-word judgements 'misleading' says head after 'inadequate' report (Image: Arnewood)

A HEAD teacher has criticised Ofsted’s one-word judgements after it was rated as ‘inadequate’.

Arnewood, in New Milton, received the rating in just one of the five areas assessed, but this meant it was graded as ‘inadequate’ overall.

Jamie Anderson joined the school a year ago, and has implemented necessary restructuring, with changes beginning to bed in, according to the school.

Inspectors rated the school ‘inadequate’ in the behaviour and attitudes category.

The school’s sixth form was praised in the report, receiving a rating of ‘good’, while the three other areas of inspection, quality of education, personal development and leadership and management, were rated as ‘requires improvement’.

The report said: “While the majority of pupils at Arnewood are well-mannered and cooperative, a minority spoil it for others.

“For many pupils, learning is frequently hampered by low level disruption in lessons.”

However, the report acknowledged this is being focused on, with new approaches being introduced.

Inspectors said in a letter to the headteacher: “Throughout the inspection, and in the text of report, it is recognised that leaders are taking the appropriate actions to bring about improvements in the school.”

Mr Anderson said: “The one-word judgements from Ofsted are not helpful.

“In a two-day visit it is difficult to fully assess a large school that is going through a significant period of change.

“It seems misleading to judge us ‘inadequate’ when just one of four areas assessed was found as such.

“However, we acknowledge that behaviour and attitudes is an area that requires improvement and that a minority of our students can be disruptive.

“The inspectors noted that we have introduced new expectations for our pupils in their behaviour and that these are not yet fully established.

“We will stop at nothing to ensure behaviour improves and it is something that is well underway, which the report notes.

“Parents who attended an open forum following the inspection I feel have a better understanding of the school and their feedback was more positive.

“I have made certain structural changes to Arnewood and the curriculum and these will lead to improved exam results, which is something the inspectors wanted to see.

“The report noted many positive things including our sixth form and the wide range of extra-curricular activities, clubs and trips.

“It said that most pupils enjoy learning and have ‘positive relationships with each other and staff’.

“I have a dedicated team of staff and we are all focused on making Arnewood a stand-out school for all our pupils.

“The report noted our ‘ambitious’ vision which was good to see and reflects what we want to achieve.”

Ofsted said it did not comment on individual applications.