Ofsted Inspectors Returning To Five Islands School

Ofsted is carrying out another inspection at the Five Islands School, just two weeks after their last check.

School staff thought that the education watchdog’s report was finalised but the Department for Education has spoken with the agency, and their inspectors will return for two days of questioning on Tuesday and Wednesday.

News of the extra inspection came as a surprise to the chair of governors, Ben Julian.

He told Radio Scilly news that a return visit so soon is, “unprecedented” in “a school with excellent results for the kids.”

Earlier in November, Ofsted inspectors from a third-party company, Tribal Education, told Ben and the acting head teacher Liz Duffy-Griffiths that they were satisfied with standards.

At the time Ben couldn’t discuss their findings before publication of their report, but told Radio Scilly he was, “beaming from ear to ear.”

Staff had been told that the school had, again, been rated as “good”. But Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools has intervened and stopped publication of the report until additional inspections have been made.

Ben says he doesn’t believe the Five Islands School will be put into special measures. Staff have already put some of the Ofsted inspectors’ recommendations in place.

“If anything, it should be doing even better,” he says.

Ben says he feels the new enquiries may concentrate on leadership and management at the school, although he’s been given little information.

A spokesperson for the inspector said: “Ofsted has recently inspected the Five Islands School. As happens from time to time, inspectors will be visiting the school again to gather further evidence to complete that inspection.”

Ben says he was upfront with the last Oftsed inspectors about the school’s recent problems and he outlined the Cornwall auditors’ report into school governance and the Department for Education investigation into the school.

Ben says he’s worried about the potential for disruption to pupils by the HMI inspection, which could be demoralising for staff and could impact on the pupils.

He is confident that the staff will approach the inspection professionally.

But the chairman of governors’ greatest concern is that he’s been given no indication on what the outcomes from the visit will be.

Ben says there’s a lack of clarity as to the objectives and scope of the investigation. And he’s worried that there won’t be the feedback sessions offered in a regular Ofsted visit, so it won’t be possible to challenge findings in a discussion.


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