Day 1 OFSTED

I had a fitful night’s sleep and woke up frequently, adrenalin rushing through me. Soon it was early morning and I could hear the faint honking of the Canadian geese along the canal. Their raucous noise usually wakes me up but today I beat them to it before they could build up to a crescendo!!

I sped along the motorway to work in a state of half anxiety, half hopeful expectation; I arrived in tandem with my head and a colleague…..it was not much past 7am and Mr Inspector was due at 8 am. We grinned at each other and entered the building with a resigned demeanor ; a long two days beckoned.

My head has had no sleep for a variety of reasons yet remains cheerful. On the dot Mr Inspector arrives. He seems very pleasant and later on addresses the staff with an air of positivity. I have provided choccy biccies and ginger ones..soon only ginger biccies  are left!! I normally drink tea but today strong coffee entices me! Caffeine hit!

The children arrive and enter their classes with mixed results; our staff are brilliant and deflect/encourage/support to ensure a calm start to the day.

Our kids react badly to change but today they did us proud and rose brilliantly to the challenge of showing us their best side; some, sadly struggled but we did our utmost and
all went on to do their best in their own way.

It has been a long day and we are all exhausted. The children have done well and we are hopeful of good things. After staff go home, Mr Inspector reports his findings which are supportive in the main; we need to accept that situations can change quickly. Our children do well but we need to look at the bigger picture .We have a discussion about the progressive continuum which OFSTED are fond of ; do our children make enough steps, relative to their starting points , that ‘ordinary’ children make? I argue that the kids come to us with a range of undiagnosed needs which we have to unpick first! Mr I accepts this but we need to demonstrate small steps of progress ; special schools do it. But, I argue, special schools have these issues sorted before statements/EHC Plans are issued….we do not!

The arguments range back and forth and I feel my control slipping; it has been a VERY long day! Each hour feels like two……I try not to snap …..not helpful….we still have tomorrow to get through….

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