School Improvement - how it works

Please find below some FAQ to help understand the school improvement process:

Is it true that Ofsted won’t be visiting the school to check on its progress next year?

Yes.  Ofsted will not undertake monitoring visits next year.  This is because the school has moved Trusts and will start afresh with a clean slate as far as Ofsted is concerned.

Is the new name, Oaks Park High School, the reason that Ofsted will not be visiting next year? 

No.  The change of name makes no difference to Ofsted.   However, the Regional Schools Commissioner's decision that the school needed to transfer to another Trust does.  This was to ensure that the school gets the support and advice it needs and answers the issues raised by Ofsted.  This decision to transfer the school then results in a fresh start whilst it builds on its strengths and addresses the concerns raised, before it gets inspected after two years. 

Who is responsible for making sure the school improves?

CAN Trust takes on responsibility for making sure that progress on the Ofsted action plan plus other changes are put into place, and that the school gets the support it needs.

Why isn't Ofsted involved every few months?

Ofsted does not provide school improvement support.  This role has now been allocated to the CAN Trust.  Ofsted monitors how any school is performing and reports on this.  It indicates what improvements are needed but does not advise schools on how to do this.  However, it will return to inspect the school after two years and will expect to see how the Trust has supported the school to resolve concerns.

Why was the CAN Trust asked to work with the school?

The Trust was approved by the Department of Education to work with the school because it has a long track record of success and has shown that it understands how to help schools perform consistently well.  It has taken on this role because it is committed to high quality local all-ability education and has the expertise that comes from a long involvement in educational leadership.

Who will monitor the school’s progress?

The overall progress of the school will be monitored by the Directors of the Trust and they will hold the CEO and the Headteacher to account. 

The CAN Trust has made the commitment to the school and its progress.  It has a highly experienced and expert team of Directors.  You can find out more about the Directors of the Trust and their expertise on the CAN website. 

In addition, the school will be reporting to the governing body, every meeting, on progress made in the improvement plan.  This plan contains those priorities already shared with you and provided to Ofsted.  

The Trust will also be providing updates for the school community from September on how the plan already shared with parents is progressing, and what the next steps are to be.

How does the school get support to improve?

The CAN Trust will be providing support on an ongoing basis.  Support will include:

-  Advice and support from the CEO of the Trust, who will be based for two to three days each week in the school and will be working with senior and middle leaders.

-  Close partnership working between subject specialists from the Trust and subject leaders in the school.  This, again, will be on a weekly basis for most areas.  This work will help prioritise what is needed within the subject areas.  The Trust will help on a practical level by providing resources that work well in the Trust, by sharing ideas on teaching and learning that have been successful in the Trust and by ensuring that staff in the school are getting high quality training.

What has happened during June/July?

So far, staff from Stanley Park in priority areas have visited Cheam High School and started to develop strong working relationships with middle and senior leaders.  Visits include staff taking away materials developed by the Trust, adopting schemes of work, and visiting classrooms to observe different teaching approaches. 

The CEO has visited the school several times and met staff, parents/carers and students.  She has also presented the action plan (building on the post Ofsted Action Plan) to the Department for Education and started supporting the decision making process at leadership level.  

When does the school join the CAN Trust?

The target date is 1 September 2019.  We are currently on track for this, though there are various legal processes which, like buying a house, can delay things.  Once the school joins the Trust, then the planned support can start properly.

What are the priority areas for working with the Trust?

Priorities include: English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, BTEC vocational courses, Literacy strategies, SEN, Assessment and Reporting approaches, Careers provision, PSHE, Sixth form provision, Performance Management and other ways of ensuring consistently good teaching. 

Curriculum changes already started will also be continued with future plans presented to the governing body.

Who is on the governing body?

The governance arrangements are on the website, and give a brief overview.  More information will be on the school website once the school joins the Trust and the governing body starts its work.

Why were we told that Ofsted would oversee the changes and re-inspect the school?

This is usually what happens when a school stays with its current Trust.  However, where the Regional Schools Commissioner believes that the school needs more support than just monitoring visits from Ofsted, then another Trust is asked to take on the school improvement role.  The school did not know the arrangements and what this would mean at the time of the meeting.

Has the Ofsted process been bypassed?

Not at all.  The Trust is very aware of the Ofsted report and agrees with its assessments.  It will be working with the school to ensure that the Ofsted-approved Action Plan is put into place.  This forms part of the overall support and improvement plan for the school provided by the Directors of the Trust to the Department for Education. Ofsted will re-inspect the school after two years.

What if I have further questions?

Please email the school who will pass on your questions to the Trust for the Trust’s response.  The Trust will also update this page with further FAQ.

The CEO has also visited the school on several occasions, including twice to meet with parents/carers in recent weeks with a further drop-in on Tuesday 16th July at 9.45 am. 

A further series of drop ins will be organised for September once the school joins the Trust and you can also raise queries then.