Our latest Ofsted inspection was in October 2013 when all of the school regulations were met in full and the inspectors judged the quality of our provision to be good with some outstanding features. We think their report is rather good because it really picks out how our democratic approach underpins student achievement and welfare. To check it out for yourself go here.
A quick summary: Ofsted’s latest inspection of Sands School gives a clear endorsement of their democratic approach to education. Taking part in decision-making process was observed to develop “exceptional qualities of thoughtfulness and the ability to offer balanced arguments”. Good pupil achievements were found to be a “consequence of the democratic structures, which enabled pupils to make good progress”. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development was deemed to be “outstanding” because of the exceptional impact of the democratic principles. The inspector was particularly impressed with pupils’ behaviour noting that “lessons took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect” and that “visitors were greeted with interest and impeccable manners”. The resultant safe and supportive learning environment was found to underpin pupils’ welfare, health and safety, which was rated as “outstanding”.
Ofsted Surveys: Parent View
Under the current inspection framework Ofsted no longer carry out a survey of parent’s views when they visit the school. Instead they have a rolling survey called Parent View which can be completed at any time. At present (spring 2013) the take up of Parent View has been fairly limited so that for many schools, like Sands, there have not been enough responses for the result to be made public. Even for those schools with publicly available results, the percentage of parents responding has been very low indeed in most cases, making the statistics rather unrobust. If and when there are enough Sands responses you will be able to find them here. If you want to complete the survey just follow the link to ‘give your views now’ from the same page.
Our own survey of parents was carried out in December 2012. This included all of the Ofsted Parent View question set and these results can be found on our Surveys page.
Ofsted Surveys: Pupils’ online questionnaire
Ofsted gather the views of children in school through a ‘point-in-time’ survey once a year. The results of this survey are not published but will be used ‘inform’ their next inspection of the school but also can provide them with an early warning if anything worrying comes out of the survey.
Our own survey of our students was last carried out at the beginning of 2013 and gives a more rounded view of the school by asking open questions along side the tick-box options offered by Ofsted. This allows students the freedom to tell us what is most important to them. The results of our survey can be found on our Surveys page.
The survey window is from September to October, during which time Sands students are be able to complete an on-line questionnaire. You can see a copy of the questionnaire and their covering letter and students can complete the survey by following this link. The school makes sure that any students who may have difficulty accessing and completing the online survey can ask for support from staff.