Yet Another ‘Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water’ Update!!!!!

Today sees the second week of the OfSTED inspection. I was talking to a member of staff last week and they commented that someone had somehow read between the lines of a previous blog post about OfSTED and worked out that it wasn’t actually a proper OfSTED Inspection at all! I don’t know what I said that might have given that impression but whatever I said, it isn’t true! It really is an OfSTED Inspection, and it’s as rigorous and thorough as any of the other twenty million or so OfSTED inspections I’ve been through!  

Is it a woman with a mullet? Is it horses kissing? Either way it doesn't hide the fact that it's a "REAL" OfSTED!!
Is it a woman with a mullet? Is it horses kissing? Either way it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a “REAL” OfSTED!!

Last week they spent a large part of the week looking a cases and visits teams. Within our division they have now been to both JAS and to Sutton Family Centre. They used their time there to talk to managers and staff, and to look at cases. I’ve not yet had any specific feedback on these but broadly they were clear that they’d been made welcome, that they were impressed by the willingness of staff to discuss their work and to go through specific cases and that they felt that the response and the morale in both teams was very positive.

Later in the week they went to see two of our Children’s Centres, at Amy Johnson and Green. They seem to have come away from those with positive feedback from some of the service users they met and with a clear picture of how our Children’s Centres fit into our overall early intervention and safeguarding service provisions. They also met with both Jackie and Claudette, with me on a few occasions and they interviewed Shirleen as manager of our Early Intervention and Prevention Services. I’m due to see them tomorrow and I hope from that to get a bit more feedback – as well as obviously answering a lot of questions!!!!!

The bulk of the review of case files and practice is now complete. They have been through most of the post-Inspection evidence bank and this week they are looking at some aspects of strategic management such as interviewing the Chief Executive and elected members, and some further aspects of operational issues like the link between schools and safeguarding as they will be interviewing two primary school and two secondary school colleagues who are designated safeguarding leads in their schools. The Keep In Touch meeting tomorrow should give us some early feedback and Tolis, Ann, Palvinder and I will be at their Judgement Meeting on Wednesday. We are now allowed to sit in to observe these meetings as the Inspection team debate and reach conclusions – but we are not supposed to say anything. That won’t be easy for any of us – me most of all probably!!!

The draft report will be with us at the beginning of June and it will go through the normal OfSTED QA process and from there it’s scheduled to be published later in June.

And if anyone is STILL in any doubt, it really is an OfSTED – no bits missing! (that’ll teach me to give things irreverent titles I guess!!!)

In Other News!……..

…… It’s worth noting that just as there was a life before OfSTED and just as there will be a life after OfSTED ( even if a lot of that life will be responding to their findings) so there is a life DURING OfSTED. Jackie is now on annual leave for a couple of weeks so as ever any key issues which arise for team managers in ISYC let me know.

Nigel, Chris Jacobs and I are currently working with Amy Johnson Primary supporting their school improvement work and we are meeting them later today. 

We are still progressing both of the proposed academy conversions with sponsors. The TUPE consultation for the staff affected at Carew Manor will begin shortly. The Governing Body at Camden Juniors have agreed to put forward their preferred alternative sponsor during the consultation by the Harris Federation ( who are as I’ve previously explained the preferred sponsor of DfE). It means that the school community will be consulted on it becoming an academy with Harris as sponsor but that during the consultation parents, staff, pupils and other stakeholders will also hear what the proposed alternative sponsor, which will be Greenshaw High, will offer. This will allow everyone consulted to feedback their views of whether or not they’d like it to become an academy and to express who their preferred sponsor will be. This story is likely to be in the local media over the weeks ahead. As a Local Authority we share the Governing Body view that Greenshaw is a better sponsor option for Camden Juniors than the Harris Federation.  

And Finally……..

Is my haircut this bad? Who knows what lurks under the Senior Management Balaclava!?!
Is my haircut this bad? Who knows what lurks under the Senior Management Balaclava!?!

……..The last time I had a haircut, back in October I think, it was cut much shorter than I’d wanted. At the time I told many of you I’d gone to the most enthusiastic hairdresser in Essex whose idea of a “little shorter” was radically different to mine!!!! The trauma went on for weeks till  it grew back. Therefore when I got a haircut this weekend I took no chances – different town, different hairdressing chains and much more forceful instructions about “shorter, but still left longish!”. To my horror the outcome was EXACTLY the same – the most enthusiastic hairdresser in Essex obviously had a twin sister working in a salon on the other side of the county!!!! I tell you this only so you don’t have to ask “Why is he wearing a balaclava?” when you see me at meetings etc in the next few weeks!


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