Category Archives: Uncategorized

How much trust in OFSTED ratings?

The integrity of the OFSTED inspection system continues to be worth reviewing.

Often schools rated Outstanding by OFSTED are a “blind-spot” in the education system as they are inspected so infrequently.   The decision by the government in 2011 to exempt outstanding schools from routine inspections – brought about by a need to focus limited resources on poorly performing schools – has meant that some schools had not been inspected in over a decade.

Even schools rated “Good”, the second category, only receive a one-day inspection every four years.

The government provides a counter argument that annual performance data provides parents with transparency on how a school is working and that OFSTED would inspect a school in response to parental concerns.

Performance data is helpful – though not always easy to understand since the introduction of a parallel measurement of  pure performance in testing and student progress measurement.  There is also useful information to be mined – though harder to interpret –  with such key indicators as pupil spend, attendance and socio-economic background.

However the importance of on-the-ground support is vital here – revealing soft data such as changes in leadership, teacher turn-over, school morale and pressure on space – that is often impossible find through the Google search.

Great client feedback

We have recently had some lovely feedback from one of our corporate clients, who describe our service as

“Always seamless, very quick response to queries and a safe pair of hands; you can hand a tricky case over and trust it will be handled with sensitivity and care.”

This is what we aim to provide all our clients with.

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?

For families relocating with children with special educational needs, the Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) is potentially an important document to have drafted.

The EHC plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through normal educational channels.

It has taken the place of the Statement of Special Educational Needs.

The EHC plan identifies educational, health and social needs and sets out the additional support to meet those needs, including how that support will be funded.  It also allows the parents some say in how they would prefer the funding to be allocated.

It is the responsibility of the local authority to carry out an assessment for EHC plan.  It can be requested by parents, teachers or a young person directly if aged between 16 and 25.

Most special education schools will not consider a child unless they have an EHC plan in place.

For families relocating, obtaining an EHC can take a minimum of 20 weeks and usually, in practice, longer than that, though schools and local authorities will usually make interim arrangements.

As ever, it is essential that parents have a clear “paper” record for a child – including an up-to-date diagnosis, any current support programme in place, and references from the current school.