Ofsted and Special Measures: A Student Perspective

Dubas, Rachael (2013) Ofsted and Special Measures: A Student Perspective. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to explore the student perspective of Ofsted Inspection and Special Measures within a Northern England Secondary School. It is widely acknowledged that the staff perspective of Ofsted and Special Measures is varied but very little research has been conducted into the perspective of the student. As Ofsted are clear that the needs of the child are a significant priority to them, and that Student Voice in itself is becoming more widely recognised and respected, this investigation had clear justification. In order to explore these perspectives, four Research Questions were composed. Firstly, what do students understand the purpose of Ofsted to be? Secondly, how did students perceive the initial and subsequent Ofsted Inspections? Thirdly, what do students understand the grade "Special Measures" to mean? Lastly, what is the student perception of the changes taking place as a result of the "Special Measures" grading?

A qualitative approach was taken in order to collect the relevant data for this investigation. 10% of the pupils in the school completed a Questionnaire, two students took part in an Interview and five students took part in a Focus Group. The results proved to be fruitful. It was clear, as the students had expressed their views nearly a year after the Special Measures grading was given to the school, that their perspectives were in retrospect and were overall relatively positive. Whilst the students were not clear about Ofsted's background, they could identify what their role (or purpose) in education was. Students felt positive about the inspections that had taken place, did not feel a sense of worry about them but did acknowledge a sense of responsibility. They also recognised that inspections have an impact on staff. Students were not clear about the exact criteria used by Ofsted, but did have a general understanding of it. The students felt the Special Measures grading given to the school was fair and they were able to identify the main reasons why it was given. With regard to the changes in school, students suggested that all of the major areas that required improvement have shown signs of improvement. When suggesting improvements, the students placed lessons/teaching as their top priority. As a result of this research, it has become clear that seeking the student voice on this matter can provide schools with an understanding of how the changes being made to bring about improvement are being embedded and can learn about what still needs to be tackled. Also, it allows schools to monitor the impact of Ofsted and Special Measures to ensure that no adverse effects are being experienced by the students themselves. More research into perspectives over time and in different contexts is recommended.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Ofsted, Special Measures, Secondary School, student perspective, student voice
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 15:20
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 05:47
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/27008

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