Friday, February 23, 2024

Orsett Headteacher “Made Scapegoat” By Ofsted

ORSETT Primary School has become the latest in a long line of Thurrock primary schools to receive an underwhelming Ofsted report.

However, the government watchdog has been slammed by parents, who believe that former Headteacher, Iain Bendrey, has been “scapegoated” .

The “satisfactory” report points to the recent “very turbulent period with a number of changes to the leadership”

The report states: “Throughout this period, teachers and other staff, as well as parents, have had some concerns about the future of the school. Standards dipped and some pupils underachieved, especially those who were capable of attaining high levels.”

But it is the statement that “The governing body acted decisively, with support from the local authority, to address the perceived weaknesses in leadership.”

A parent, who did not wish to be named said:

“I think they have made a scapegoat of a Headteacher who tried his best and felt he received very little support from the Local Education Authority.

“The bottom line is this is a primary school in the most affluent part of the borough that is massively under-performing. The fact that 30% of the parents don’t think that their child is making progress is a real concern.”

Ofsted has asked the school to improve in the following areas:

1. Raise standards in writing and mathematics by consolidating recent improvements to the curriculum.

2. Improve the quality of teaching and learning so that more is consistently good or better by spreading the existing good practice.

3. Using assessment to help pupils better understand the next steps in their learning.

4. Increase the proportion of pupils reaching the higher levels in both key stages by ensuring expectations are high enough and lessons provide sufficient challenge.

5. Improve the leadership at all levels by embedding the use of assessment data to more accurately track pupils’ progress and making more use of support from external sources.

With Aveley and Tilbury Manor primary schools also recently receiving underwhelming “saisfactory” Ofsted reports, it is now a matter of major concern that only two schools in the last twenty inspections stretching back to 2008 have received a “Good” report by Ofsted. The schools in question are: Warren Primary and Stifford Primary.


  1. Somebody might be able to correct this if I am wrong, but the way I understand it the OFSTED inspection regime changed last year and as a result it became more difficult for a school to achieve an outstanding grade. As a result of the change a lot of schools which were outstanding are now getting results graded as satisfactory.
    OFSTED, in their awful way, have not managed to get that message across to the public or – in this case – the journalist.
    Clearly, the main effect of the change is to put more pressure upon teachers which would be okay if it had been an inclusive process against objective standards that are well understood. This article, and similar news reports elsewhere indicate that the change has not been well managed and as a result good schools are being reported as receiving “underwhelming” results.
    Perhaps OFSTED, and the school inspection process should come under a bit more public scrutiny, particularly considering their ever widening remit for assessing the quality of services for children.


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