Tospy Turvey

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

My son goes to an Outstanding school.  Not that what Ofsted had to say about it bore any bearing whatsoever on our decision to send him there.  I’ve never been one for looking at school websites, or reading Ofsted reports (unless I am applying for a job there) or checking their place in the league tables.  I’d much rather go and have a look round on an ordinary day, get a feel for the place, ask a few questions and get a few answers from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

Still, it was nice to have the inspectors’ agreement.  The novelty of having someone agree with me is always a pleasure, whatever the subject.  Sam regularly puts his uniform on in the holidays, he is keen to go no matter what his state of health, and we know, thanks to great communication, that he doesn’t get an easy ride…

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Special Schools and Outstanding Status


Earlier this week @miss_mcinerney published an article in The Guardian stating that 35% of Special Schools are rated as Outstanding yet no one celebrates or even mentions this fact. Laura, the author claimed not to be disputing this, rather she was just aiming to stimulate a debate. Here is the tweet announcing the article

Laura McInerney
Did 35% of special schools get an Outstanding last term because they’re fantastic, or because inspectors go easy?

At the time I declined to comment. I had no intention of joining a discussion about the provision we provide. I would rather concentrate on teaching the children to the best of my ability than engage in discussions about it. There then followed a prolonged debate concerning the status of special schools. During the course of this debate one or two comments were passed on as facts that are actually fairly well removed from the…

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Over the fence…


A while back I entered in to a conversation on Twitter about Ofsted inspections. I merely commented that in Secure Children’s Homes regardless of grading we are inspected twice a year (I should point out that I have been a teacher and SENCO in a Secure Children’s Home for five years). This led to some probing and very valid questions from many different people but one person in particular showed a lot of interest, @cherrylkd . A successful and experienced teacher, however she was honest enough to admit that she knew nothing about Secure Children’s Homes, to which my response was that many people know nothing of them.

After many discussions via email and Twitter I did a short q&a with Cherryl and she posted the outcomes on her own fantastic blog;

Over the festive period I was badgered by several people, Cherryl included to write my own blog…

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Inclusion…what’s the incentive?


How inclusive are you?

I think my values are very inclusive. Schools should reflect society and every child regardless of ability, gender, sexuality or nationality should be welcome in any school. The problem is that government policy is making schools less inclusive.

We all know that schools are judged by government through Ofsted and that Ofsted are told by government to use attainment and progress in external exams or tests as the basis for deciding how well a school is doing. If the children attain and progress well in a school compared to national averages that school will be judged as good.

So what are the barriers to good attainment and progress?

The quality of teaching is undoubtedly the biggest help or hindrance to pupils. If children are taught well they will achieve well, if they are taught poorly they will achieve poorly. But ask any good teacher whether every…

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The Curse of the Slip On Shoes

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Ah, fashion.  I’m not into catwalks or vintage, but I do like clothes.  I never used to be particularly bothered by them, other than that I knew what I liked and that was the soft, button-lacking sort; for most of my life, up until pretty much the arrival of Motherhood, clothes were what you wore to keep the chill off and that was pretty much that.

How things have changed.

It may have something to do with the coming of wages.  Wages that weren’t being spent on the doing-up-of houses and can therefore be spent on frivolities rather than practicalities, that is.  It may have had something to do with the wanting-what-you-can’t-have-after-your-body-has-been-forever-changed-by-childbearing principle, but, whatever it was, dressing myself has become an increasingly interesting pastime.  And not only me.  I am the chief wardrobe officer of the family; the lady chamberlain.

It’s a tricky business, it has to be said. …

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Inclusion. A Few Thoughts.


Jarlath O’Brien has decided to be all big and brave and nail his colours to the mast regarding his beliefs on inclusion. In doing so he has started a huge discussion on the topic. You can read Jarlath’s post here. Also see @JulesDaulby’s thoughts here,@nancygedge here and @jordyjax here. This is a small selection of the growing number of posts on the topic.

I’m quite late to this discussion due to personal circumstances so I apologise in advance if I repeat what has been said by others.

I am of the opinion that admission to a mainstream school for children with additional needs should not be automatic. That benefits no one. Not the child with additional needs, not their peers and not the teacher and TA. Placement of a special child should be carefully worked out on an individual basis after considering all relevant factors.

I’ll start with the…

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