The Hackney Gazette published my letter in praise of Brook Community Primary School. The question is: have I gone soft on OFSTED? And the other question is: Will a particular one of our local MPs take note? Here's the letter.
Over recent weeks, the Gazette has reported improvements and successes in several local schools. Well done to everyone involved.
I would like to add Brook Community Primary School to the roll of honour, which two of my sons attend. Its inspection, just before Christmas, praised both children and staff, and rated the teaching as good, with some features 'outstanding'.
Brook used to be Amherst Primary, and was placed in 'special measures' a couple of years ago after failing its OFSTED inspection.
I am usually very suspicious of these inspections and reports, as I know that they put a lot of pressure on already hard-pressed staff, and many school communities have felt misjudged and offended by damning reports. And in many cases, school's "failures" are not caused by lack of effort by staff, but by lack of resources and support from the government and local authority, particularly when there is poverty and deprivation in the local area.
However, I am not going to dispute the praise given to Brook! I know first-hand that my kids enjoy the school, and that they are learning and developing as young people.
The lesson for all of us is to stand by your local state school, and fight for it to improve. Local MPs: take note.