Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

19 posts
Annabel (admin)
Site Admin
Posts: 3239
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:07 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby Annabel (admin) » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:23 am

From the Guardian...

<starts>
A new free school has has won the seal of approval from education inspectors just over a year after opening its classrooms for the first time.

The Bolingbroke Academy free school in Battersea, which opened in September 2012, has been endorsed by Ofsted as a "good school".

http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/new ... ?ref=var_0

<ends>
Post Reply
Quote
Wheresmyschool?
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:45 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby Wheresmyschool? » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:28 am

Don't mean to hijack the post but here is the actual inspection report.

It's OK but its not amazing.
Attachments
Bolingbroke.pdf
(160.86 KiB) Downloaded 470 times
Post Reply
Quote
Wheresmyschool?
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:45 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby Wheresmyschool? » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:35 am

Hi
I've also attached the last Chestnut Grove report.

It's very old (2008) but this school achieved an outstanding rating from Ofsted.

Great to see we now have two amazing secondaries in Clapham/Balham and I look forward to Bolingbroke reaching a similar standard to Chestnut Grove very soon.
Attachments
Chestnut Grove.pdf
(263.37 KiB) Downloaded 216 times
Post Reply
Quote
ANNA MARIA
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:05 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby ANNA MARIA » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:53 am

I am a parent at Bolingbroke and I was disappointed the school did not get Excellent as to me it certainly deserves to. Having spoken to friends in education however they say that a) Ofsted has changed its reporting recently and is even more stricter in its criteria - so currently Outstanding schools may not fare so well at their next inspection and b) a brand new school of 15 months with no GSCE results under its belt is never going to get an Outstanding straight off.
Take a look at the ParentView link below run by Ofsted this gives a very clear indication from the parents as to their view of Bolingbroke - 97% of parents undertaking the survey would recommend the school to another parent. You can't say fairer than that!

http://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/parent- ... 92/current
Post Reply
Quote
wasateacher
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:21 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby wasateacher » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:51 am

Unfortunately, the changes in the Ofsted regime just indicate that it is not a reliable way of judging the school. Battersea Park School fell foul of the changes and there were so many inaccuracies in the inspection report that it was shameful.

I am glad that I am not in the position of having to choose a school. Exam results need considerable analysis before they tell you anything and the latest Ofsted reports cannot be compared with those from the last academic year. The league tables have, unfortunately, encouraged some schools to "game" or, sadly, even cheat.

My advice in choosing schools is to try to visit and choose one you and/or your child feel comfortable in. Ignore uniforms (unless you particularly feel attached to them), look for celebrations of children's work in displays.
Post Reply
Quote
Bleu Widley
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:36 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby Bleu Widley » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:42 am

I know a young lad who went to Bollingbroke and he went from a child with real issues in learning and behaviour to a child who was excelling in class.

I hope they can continue such work.
Post Reply
Quote
The NSC
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:01 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby The NSC » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:10 pm

A long time ago, in the summer of 2009, I had the idea for what is now the Bolingbroke Academy, after a conversation with a neighbour about the lack of a local secondary school. We then were very lucky to find ourselves in the right place at the right time over the coming months, enabling the school to open in Sept 2012. Today I have no connection with the school.

In terms of its first OFSTED report, as a previous poster has said, its ok but not great. It would have been good to see at least one of the categories judged 'outstanding'. Even Toby Young managed that with his Free School. Equally, while its great to see the bottom of the tail making 'rapid progress' (kind of why ARK was established, closing the attainment gap), its a shame to see the 'gifted' kids are not being stretched. This is touched on a couple of times in the OFSTED report.

What I don't think helps at all, is the fact that ARK has a majority control of the schools governing body. The current Chair for example works at ARK. Generally turkeys don't vote for Xmas and personally I think this is a weak link in the ARK model. There is no meaningful external oversight on what the head and SMT are doing. In effect its a closed shop.

So in school parlance, a respectable 'B' with a 'could do better'. Which is pretty much what the OFSTED report says I think.
Post Reply
Quote
The NSC
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:01 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby The NSC » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:14 pm

A long time ago, in the summer of 2009, I had the idea for what is now the Bolingbroke Academy, after a conversation with a neighbour about the lack of a local secondary school. We then were very lucky to find ourselves in the right place at the right time over the coming months, enabling the school to open in Sept 2012. Today I have no connection with the school.

In terms of its first OFSTED report, as a previous poster has said, its ok but not great. It would have been good to see at least one of the categories judged 'outstanding'. Even Toby Young managed that with his Free School. Equally, while its great to see the bottom of the tail making 'rapid progress' (kind of why ARK was established, closing the attainment gap), its a shame to see the 'gifted' kids are not being stretched. This is touched on a couple of times in the OFSTED report.

What I don't think helps at all, is the fact that ARK has a majority control of the schools governing body. The current Chair for example works at ARK. Generally turkeys don't vote for Xmas and personally I think this is a weak link in the ARK model. There is no meaningful external oversight on what the head and SMT are doing. In effect its a closed shop.

So in school parlance, a respectable 'B' with a 'could do better'. Which is pretty much what the OFSTED report says I think.

Jon De Maria
Post Reply
Quote
ANNA MARIA
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:05 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby ANNA MARIA » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:24 pm

As a parent of secondary school children I have experienced two ‘outstanding’ state secondary schools and I can honestly say that Bolingbroke is as every bit as ‘outstanding’ if indeed not more so than these other schools, hence my surprise when they were not awarded ‘outstanding’ at first go. Apparently OFSTED stated that under previous guidelines Bolingbroke would have been ‘outstanding’ but new criteria do not allow a school with one year’s data to be so.

In terms of more able pupils being stretched I believe they are. Every pupil is expected to make 3 levels of progress per academic year instead of the national average of 2 levels and teachers work hard to achieve this goal. This combined with a jam-packed time table of extra curricular enrichment activities, music lessons, reading groups, family dining etc leads to a really calm, happy, safe environment where the pupils learn and flourish. One brilliant thing they do at Bolingbroke is invite parents (by arrangement) to visit on a Friday morning. You attend an assembly and then have free rein to observe any lessons you wish finishing with joining everyone for ‘family dining’. Here you see the ethos of the school in practice. Calm, well structured lessons with engaged kids – really what more could you ask for? If all state schools were like Bolingbroke there would be less need for the private sector.

Regarding the Governing Body it is my understanding that there are 3 parents on the governing body plus a local councillor and the current ‘chair’ (ARK) is just temporary whilst the normal ‘chair’ (NON ARK) is working abroad for one year.
Post Reply
Quote
The NSC
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:01 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby The NSC » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:50 pm

ANNA MARIA, based on evidence and apologies for any repetition:

1. The OFSTED report flagged the issue of gifted kids

2. OFSTED has tightened up but if the WLFS can achieve outstanding in a category then no reason why an ARK school should not? The WLFS came from a standing start. ARK has substantial resource and track record behind it.

3. The issue of the governing body is a simple matter of numbers. ARK has an overwhelming controlling majority, either via appointment or as direct employees. It is not democratic. Other large academy chains are not as prescriptive in their absolute control. Governance is an important issue in relation to holding the head and SMT to account. The ARK model is far from best practice. This was confirmed to me by someone at the DFE some while ago.

I don't think the school is doing a bad job. I just think it could be doing better.
Post Reply
Quote
livegreen
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:14 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby livegreen » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:59 pm

livegreen wrote:Had dinner last night with a senior Ofsted official and this report came up as did the changing criteria Ofsted use to judge schools.
A couple of points is that Ofsted use data, and in particular progress of children, a lot more now and often have a grade in their head before they arrive at the school, they then find evidence to back up the grade. The data provided will indicate if a school has relaxed too much or is not keeping data correctly - this would lead to a requires improvement in most cases.
The new Ofsted criteria is much tougher and most schools will drop at least a grade with new criteria compared to old (unless of course they have improved).
The inspectors have been told only to give an outstanding where everything is outstanding and there is a lot of data(again) to back up progress over every year group over a couple of years - so really difficult for schools which have improved quickly, have new head teacher, or are new schools to get an outstanding grade.
Her advice was the same that many people have given here, visit the school, talk to the parents, read the Ofsted report (bearing in mind when inspection took place), talk to the teachers and read Parent View.
Her feeling on schools similar to Ravenestone was that this could be the wake up call they need and that they can quickly return to good/outstanding with correct leadership.
I wrote this last year during the debate on Ravenstone's OFSTED and from other discussions I had over the Christmas holidays, and from what has been in the press recently I would confirm that OFSTED should only be one part of the evidence that parents look at.
Having said that I have just read the OFSTED report from the Bolingbroke and it is clearly an excellent school with the foundations in place to be outstanding soon, if not already as the pointers given by OFSTED are easily implemented. The good rating also means OFSTED will be back in 3 years which for a new school is actually rather a positive thing.
I would advise anyone judging a school to visit it, talk to the staff, the current parents as well as reading the OFSTED report.
My own discussions with parents with children at the Bolingbroke Academy support and echo what the parents like Anna Maria say on this thread.
Post Reply
Quote
ouided01
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:44 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby ouided01 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:09 am

Anna Maria,

Are you still of the opinion Bolingbroke is an outstanding school? I am interested in parents view who already have children in there. I went to an Open day last week ( although I couldn't stay for the tour ). The headteacher's talk was Ok, although I was surprised no children took part in it, unlike most independent schools do. There were no children's work on walls, we have been told this was for some admin reasons, but they will be able to hang stuff from next year. How well are bright children stretched? How does it compare to Graveney and independent schools in the area? In the absence of results it's really hard to make a judgement, but I heard good feedback so far.
Thank you
Post Reply
Quote
ANNA MARIA
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:05 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby ANNA MARIA » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:42 am

I am still of the opinion that it is an excellent school and we are lucky to have such an aspirational state school on our doorstep. The teachers really care and go the extra mile to help the children achieve their levels. The teaching is first rate and as a parent you have a clear idea on what your child is covering in each subject area and you (and your child) are given clear guidelines on where they are and what they need to do to reach their targets. On the Open Day last week there were lots of children and parents taking part. I am not sure how it compares to Graveney apart from Bolingbroke being smaller and therefore your child is less likely to 'disappear' in fact I know one child has recently moved from Graveney to Bolingbroke and is much happier at Bolingbroke. In the end it depends on your child I guess. All I do know is that the teaching is excellent and the ethos aspirational. An excellent education for all. How does it compare to local independents? it is a fully comprehensive state school so the social mix is a lot more diverse than local independent schools and that can be an issue for some parents.
Post Reply
Quote
onthecommon
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby onthecommon » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:15 pm

I consider myself to be very lucky to have 2 children at the Bolingbroke. Both are very happy and really enjoy their school days.
I can echo what ANNA MARIA said about the teaching, ethos and the progress the children make.
You ask in particular about stretch and we are happy that this is happening. Both of ours left primary with level 5a's and level 6's and are making excellent progress. My year 9 child, has already attended days at Oxford, Cambridge and University College London and this will be the target for many of the pupils.
However and just as important, the school focuses on the all round development of the child, and the extra curriculum, music, daily reading etc are fantastic.

One thing that is often overlooked when choosing a school is the commute and another special characteristic of the Bolingbroke is that all the children are local and most walk to school. This can save 2 hours a day and can really make a big difference in the quality of childhood.

My own advice on choosing a school is attend open days, speak to current parents and never listen to gossip.
Post Reply
Quote
onthecommon
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke has it's first Ofsted rating

Postby onthecommon » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:16 pm

I consider myself to be very lucky to have 2 children at the Bolingbroke. Both are very happy and really enjoy their school days.
I can echo what ANNA MARIA said about the teaching, ethos and the progress the children make.
You ask in particular about stretch and we are happy that this is happening. Both of ours left primary with level 5a's and level 6's and are making excellent progress. My year 9 child, has already attended days at Oxford, Cambridge and University College London and this will be the target for many of the pupils.
However and just as important, the school focuses on the all round development of the child, and the extra curriculum, music, daily reading etc are fantastic.

One thing that is often overlooked when choosing a school is the commute and another special characteristic of the Bolingbroke is that all the children are local and most walk to school. This can save 2 hours a day and can really make a big difference in the quality of childhood.

My own advice on choosing a school is attend open days, speak to current parents and never listen to gossip.
Post Reply
Quote