Ofsted waters down guidance on inspection of school meals

Ofsted’s new recipe bound to upset Jamie

Is school food about to hit the headlines again? And could we see Jamie Oliver return to the warpath against ministers and Ofsted? We cannot help asking yourself given that, we learn, Ofsted has radically watered down its advice on the inspection of school nutrition only a yr after introducing new principles on how inspectors need to examine that pupils are acquiring wholesome meals.

In September 2013, an Ofsted stipulation that inspectors must “consider the foods on offer at the school and environment of the school canteen” was introduced, following stress from organisations which includes the Jamie Oliver Foundation. But this August, it was quietly removed, in a streamlining of inspection advice. Ofsted’s most current consultation on a new inspection framework, which closed last Friday, has also omitted to mention school food.

The campaign group College Food Matters has emailed its supporters, urging them to lobby Ofsted to reinstate the 2013 directive. Stephanie Wood, the group’s founder, says the response was “unprecedented”. “We require Ofsted to reinstate the guidance,” she says. “It’s a misplaced chance if they do not seize this moment.”

In 2012, Oliver accused former training secretary Michael Gove of not listening on school food. Ofsted’s new recipe is most likely to be significantly less than attractive for the celebrity chef and campaigner.

Parents back college head above sacking

Much more than 1,200 folks have signed a petition calling on a nearby authority to investigate the conduct of its head of children’s solutions right after the long-serving headteacher of a small primary college was suspended in dramatic conditions.

The petition, presented to Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council, says that Jim Cooke, head of Bisham main school close to Marlow given that 1985, was “removed” by Alison Alexander, the children’s companies director, the day after an Ofsted report putting it in unique measures was published. The petition says Alexander arrived with a locksmith and modified all the school’s locks that day in view of employees, some of whom, it says, left the premises in tears.

Council rules state that a petition of only a hundred signatures can trigger an investigation by its chief executive if the petitioners are nearby residents. The parental campaign group supporting Cooke say they have about 600 neighborhood petitioners. In which will the campaign go from right here?

The council’s managing director, Mike McGaughrin, says the petition will be regarded underneath its disciplinary procedures. Alexander says: “Bisham has been judged [by Ofsted] as inadequate and we are utilizing our power of intervention to oversee the college improvement.”

School governors: why 2 x 24 shouldn’t go

How critically is the Clarke report becoming taken? The report into Birmingham’s Trojan horse affair, published in July, advised that no personal should be a governor of a lot more than two schools “unless there are genuinely excellent circumstances”. This, says the report, is “so that no single personal has undue influence over a variety of schools”.

We have currently reported that academies minister Lord Nash appeared to be in breach of this principle, getting a governor of all four colleges in the chain he sponsors.

Now we can reveal that two influential academy chief executives sit on at least 24 governing bodies among them. Dame Rachel de Souza, chief executive of the Norwich-based mostly Inspiration Trust chain, is to chair the governing entire body working Stradbroke main school, near Excellent Yarmouth, which the believe in took more than final week. De Souza previously chairs two other governing bodies of academies inside of the Inspiration chain, in accordance to their web sites. She sits on two more governing bodies that cover the other 4 schools the believe in runs and for which governance details is available.

Meanwhile, Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the London-based Harris Federation, appears to sit on at least 19 of its schools’ governing bodies, although he seems not to chair any.

A spokesman for the Inspiration Trust says that its school governing bodies are subcommittees of the trust’s primary board, and that De Souza’s involvement “ensures the trust’s culture of focusing on educational improvement and large aspiration is embedded in each and every school”.

And a Harris Federation spokesman says: “As a multi-academy believe in, governance ultimately lies with the Harris Federation, so it is wholly suitable that the chief executive of the federation is available by way of governance at a neighborhood degree.”

Failing to make notes down on the Farm

Schools are often criticised by Ofsted for underwhelming check benefits data. But a report on Kings Farm main in Gravesend, Kent, is the initial we have witnessed to lament an virtually complete lack of assessment statistics available to inspectors.

Ofsted said it could not say no matter whether the college had met government floor requirements for 12 months 6 Sats benefits in 2014 as the information “has been suppressed by the Standards [and Testing] Agency [the Sats watchdog] pending investigation”.

And “most of the school’s information on pupils’ previous functionality can not be located”, extra the report. Kings Farm was placed in particular measures.

The report was highlighted in a website by education consultant Peter Read through, who says it has vindicated the concerns of dad and mom and personnel, reported both nationally and locally, over the summer about goings-on at Kings Farm, in which, Ofsted reported, two-thirds of staff – which includes the executive headteacher, Jane Porter – left in July.

Kent county council says that Kings Farm’s problems in “early 2014” have been effectively-documented but that the Ofsted report had recognised that there is now an “air of optimism” in the school.

Strange bedfellows see website go viral

Ultimately, the Nationwide Union of Teachers and the Every day Telegraph appear unlikely bedfellows. But Kevin Courtney, the NUT’s deputy general secretary, is celebrating after a site he wrote for the Telegraph’s website went viral.

Courtney’s broadside about instructor workload garnered 58,000 Facebook shares in the two weeks following its publication on 21 November. By comparison, latest Telegraph blogs on Labour’s controversial programs for private colleges, by celebrity columnists Allison Pearson and Toby Young and by shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt managed 2,000, 21, and 25 Facebook shares respectively.

“Teacher workload at unacceptable levels”, mentioned the headline above Courtney’s piece. Is he on to anything?

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