Why head is proud of school, despite Ofsted's damning report

Echo: Why head is proud of school, despite Ofsted's damning report Why head is proud of school, despite Ofsted's damning report

A HEADTEACHER has defended her school after Ofsted inspectors rated it inadequate.

Chase High School in Westcliff has been told it has serious weaknesses and that not enough has been done to improve students’ achievement.

The previous inspection, in 2011, judged it satisfactory.

However, in a frank interview with the Echo, headteacher Victoria Overy explained her policy of accepting more challenging pupils, often turned away from other schools, had meant Chase and its results had suffered.

She said: “When I took over as head two years ago there were 120 spaces at Chase. Now we only have a couple.

“We’ve taken on a fifth of our population. A lot of children have moved from other local schools and it takes time for them to settle.

“They come with some challenges, needing extra tuition and, sometimes, counselling.

“We could have done better if we hadn’t accepted these children, but we are very inclusive.

“We take children with problems from elsewhere without putting up a fight that other schools may have. We have 43 different languages spoken here, which is all for the good of our school “It has taken a bit of a toll, but I feel as a local school if a child wants to come here that’s enough. If we can’t give children another chance, what are we about?

“I took a decision and we have suffered as a result of that, but I wouldn’t make any other decision.

They are worth it.

“Obviously I do feel disappointed, but nothing the inspectors identified has been a surprise.

We’ve already been working on and striving towards these.”

Mrs Overy said of 45 lessons observed by inspectors, 14 were led by newly-qualified teachers and some had only been teaching for eight weeks.

This summer only 25 per cent of pupils gained five A* to C GCSEs including English and maths.

Mrs Overy has declared she will improve the school within 18 months.

She said: “Results will be better next summer and will be brilliant from 2015.

“The data shows we are making progress. Our sixth-form was rated good.

“I’ve just not been able to make it good enough quickly enough.

“But at no stage did I believe I could turn the school around in my first two years.

“In 18 months, when they next come, we will get a ‘good’ grading.

We will have monitoring inspections, which is a real bonus.

“We are already on the path, the key thing is continuing to improve the teaching so learners are making the progress they are entitled to.”

Inspectors said improvements are needed in the quality of teaching, particularly in English and maths, and to improve student attendance.

However, they did say ‘leadership now has many strengths’, rating it as three out of four, while recognising the school has the capacity to improve.

Comments (7)

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6:45am Thu 12 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

What else could she do? I know listen and learn, otherwise another will take her place...
What else could she do? I know listen and learn, otherwise another will take her place... Nowthatsworthknowing

7:08am Thu 12 Dec 13

whateverhappened says...

It seems this school has been chosen as the "fall guy" to improve the towns other schools.Good luck to her, she will need it , But we will all pay the the price if she fails.
It seems this school has been chosen as the "fall guy" to improve the towns other schools.Good luck to her, she will need it , But we will all pay the the price if she fails. whateverhappened

7:44am Thu 12 Dec 13

suzy1959 says...

My son started at Chase in September and while nothing is perfect he describes the school as awesome..his maths is improving beyond recognition and a subject he hated he now enjoys..He is reading more than ever and achieving well,.The school has opened a performing arts school where children can gain an award..I feel confident in Mrs Overy s abilities to turn the school around and wish her every success
My son started at Chase in September and while nothing is perfect he describes the school as awesome..his maths is improving beyond recognition and a subject he hated he now enjoys..He is reading more than ever and achieving well,.The school has opened a performing arts school where children can gain an award..I feel confident in Mrs Overy s abilities to turn the school around and wish her every success suzy1959

9:14am Thu 12 Dec 13

Sensible of Leigh says...

What we have here is a school doing a good job of dealing with the flip side of having Grammar Schools. There are several schools in Southend which cream off the top achieving pupils and at least one, Eastwood, which uses dubious, (and possibly illegal) methods at the admission stage. Add to that the fact that when pupils are excluded from schools, they have to go somewhere, and Chase Highhas no choice other than to accept them, which it does in a positive manner.
Ofsted and League Tables deal with data, they do not want to seek solutions only to blame. It is a fact that where the raw data is not good, they will make a judgement and then twist the other judgements to suit the outcome. In other words, if they have already decided the overall judgement is 'inadequate' they will make sure, one way or another, that outcomes for 'teaching and learning' will also be inadequate otherwise it undermines their judgement.
Chase High is a school which is well led and has pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds, many of these will have been told they are failures because they didn't attain a Grammar School place, but all are given the opportunity to thrive. This school needs support and nderstanding, not condemnation by Ofsted, a body which, acting at the behest of the Givernment, is failing more schools than ever in order to force them to become Academies, run by private companies. Good luck to Chase High!
What we have here is a school doing a good job of dealing with the flip side of having Grammar Schools. There are several schools in Southend which cream off the top achieving pupils and at least one, Eastwood, which uses dubious, (and possibly illegal) methods at the admission stage. Add to that the fact that when pupils are excluded from schools, they have to go somewhere, and Chase Highhas no choice other than to accept them, which it does in a positive manner. Ofsted and League Tables deal with data, they do not want to seek solutions only to blame. It is a fact that where the raw data is not good, they will make a judgement and then twist the other judgements to suit the outcome. In other words, if they have already decided the overall judgement is 'inadequate' they will make sure, one way or another, that outcomes for 'teaching and learning' will also be inadequate otherwise it undermines their judgement. Chase High is a school which is well led and has pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds, many of these will have been told they are failures because they didn't attain a Grammar School place, but all are given the opportunity to thrive. This school needs support and nderstanding, not condemnation by Ofsted, a body which, acting at the behest of the Givernment, is failing more schools than ever in order to force them to become Academies, run by private companies. Good luck to Chase High! Sensible of Leigh

10:21am Thu 12 Dec 13

Jack222 says...

OFSTED should be abolished. A pointless organisation.
OFSTED should be abolished. A pointless organisation. Jack222

1:20pm Thu 12 Dec 13

wendiex says...

My Daughter attends this school, year 8, and i cannot praise the school enough as we had problems with my daughter when she started, and all is so good now, they couldnt have done enough for her. Mrs Overy is a excellant headmistress, she cares for the children, she is kind and very helpful, any problems are sorted out straight away. some of the children there just do not want to learn and they are brought up by there parents/carers without respect, this is the main problem. Unfortunatly the disapline is not the same as when i was growing up! You had respect for your elders.
My Daughter attends this school, year 8, and i cannot praise the school enough as we had problems with my daughter when she started, and all is so good now, they couldnt have done enough for her. Mrs Overy is a excellant headmistress, she cares for the children, she is kind and very helpful, any problems are sorted out straight away. some of the children there just do not want to learn and they are brought up by there parents/carers without respect, this is the main problem. Unfortunatly the disapline is not the same as when i was growing up! You had respect for your elders. wendiex

1:46pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Stamper2 says...

Another underperforming school. Soon it will be like Basildon!
Another underperforming school. Soon it will be like Basildon! Stamper2

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