Japanese school in Ealing called “inadequate” by Ofsted
An Ealing school teaching Japanese has been deemed inadequate by Ofsted to protect student fears – but the deputy headmaster argued the school should not be judged on issues that may arise in regular British schools , such as bullying, because it is based on a different culture.
Ofsted released findings on the Japanese school on December 13 after an inspection on October 30 and 31 and urged the Acton-based school to update personnel check records “urgently.”
The inspectors took notes from 29 classes at the school, which has 363 students, and were satisfied with the quality of teaching, but reported problems with the management of new staff.
The report states, âThere is a high turnover of staff coming and returning to Japan every two to three years.
âAs a result, there is little stability and continuity in the leadership of the school.
âThe processes for imparting information and introducing new leaders to the demands of the English school system are inefficient.
“As a result, leaders, including administrators, have failed to ensure that the school meets all independent schools standards for protection, welfare, curriculum and complaint procedures.”
Deputy manager Ozawa said the result was “partly caused” by “misunderstandings” but promised to rectify the problems.
LGBT issues “irrelevant” to the Japanese community
Inspectors said there was a “bad culture” in the school when it came to leadership in safeguarding.
There is no connection with the Ealing Council’s Safeguarding Council, they have “not discovered” the typical problems and have no contact with professionals to support vulnerable students.
But the school says issues that would affect young people in England wouldn’t necessarily impact Japanese people.
The report states: âThe leaders have the underlying belief that there are no real potential protection issues in the school community.
âThey say some of the issues young people might face in England are not relevant to the Japanese community.
âThey understand, for example, that students in England can be bullied because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).
âThey said that in Japan it’s not the culture to be LGBT; therefore, they argue, this is not a potential protection issue relevant to the school. “
There is a high turnover of staff coming and returning to Japan every two to three years, the report notes.
As a result, there is “little stability and continuity” in the leadership of the school.
The processes of imparting information and introducing new leaders to the methods of the English school system are “ineffective”.
Most of the staff who responded to the inspection survey felt that there were weaknesses in the management of the schools, according to the inspectors.
These included concerns about leadership support for the professional development of staff and the management of student behavior.
Staff say leaders fail to respond and effectively deal with suspected incidents involving other adults. It left them feeling “vulnerable and dangerous”.
Play-fight in the classroom
When students arrive early in the morning, after breaks and at lunchtime, they go to classrooms and wait for their teachers, according to the report.
Inspectors observed that it took up to ten minutes for staff to arrive and that there were no adults in the hallways.
The report states: âBy observing the learning, the inspectors also saw teachers leave the classes in mid-class to go to the photocopier, leaving the students alone.
“On these occasions, elementary school students engaged in noisy behaviors, including play fighting.”
Good quality of teaching and learning
But the report had good things to say about teaching and learning.
âTeaching is strong throughout the school,â the report says. âAs a result, students are making good progress in a wide range of subjects. “
The report adds: âThe teachers have a good knowledge of their subjects and the requirements of the Japanese curriculum.
âThey expect a lot from the students’ work and have established clear routines.
“They plan well-structured activities that help students build on their prior knowledge to gain a deeper understanding and apply their skills.”
In two of the four inspection areas – student outcomes and quality of teaching, learning and assessment – the school was rated as good.
For personal development, behavior and well-being, the school “needs to be improved”.
But for the effectiveness of leadership and management, the journalists judged the school “inadequate”
“Poor communication and misunderstanding”
Mr. Ozawa said, âAs you can recognize from the name of our school, we conducted education according to the Japanese curriculum guidelines.
âHowever, we are also recognized as an independent school by the Ministry of Education (DfE).
âWe understand the gap between the Japanese and UK educational guidelines and there are a lot of misunderstandings and misunderstandings during the inspection which partially caused this result.
âWe are working to correct the problems in order to meet the requirements of the DfE. “