What are the implications for working in a RI school carrying out my NQT? Not sure if I should apply for a job within a school rated as RI. What are the implications/positives?
Obviously, this school might offer exceptional support and be a lovely place to work but, if you are in the position to pick and choose, I'd go for a 'Good/Outstanding' school for a first job.
I'm going to play devil's advocate here and make the case for not writing off RI schools.
I completed my first SBT at a school which is RI across the board. My impressions?
Leadership - there was direction, and we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, but perhaps high liquidity of senior staff (including head) in recent years contributed to a sense of fragility and didn't help the school much at inspection. In reality, the senior leaders were professional, knowledgable and up-to-date with research and trends in ed.
Teaching and learning - in my department, it was varied. There was a lack of consistency here, and that might have been one of the reasons progress 8 score was down on previous years. Individual teachers had their own style, and made it work for their pupils, but cross-departmentally and cross-school, it may have been an area of weakness. Consistency up to a point, is essential, but individuality equally important. It's abouit striking that balance. An RI school is potentially on the cusp of striking that balance, and you could be the person to help achieve that. Great for CV and career development.
Behaviour - lots of low level disruption, which was a challenge, but ultimately has given me some serious confidence walking into my next placement. I have developed so many strategies for classroom management and that is invaluable because even in good and outstanding schools, you will be given classes where serious behaviour problems (low level and high level) are present / possible. If you develop ability in this area, you will always have it, and it is worth spending a year somewhere 'tough' to have those strategies to deploy. Ultimately, the behaviour was low-level and really nothing 'horrible' ever happened - that is not the same for an outstanding school I worked in as a TA - less low level stuff, but fairly frequent 'kick offs' and 'lessons being destroyed by boisterous characters on bad days'. Really, you cannot judge how a school's behavioural climate will be just by looking at ofsted report. Maybe the reason the school received RI was because it has no clearly effective behaviour policy - but that doesn't change how the kids behave - that is more to do with area, community, aspirations, etc.
Outcomes - well, progress can have dips, and that is something that needs to be sorted out - but there are so many factors which contribute towards a drop in progress, you can't pinpoint it on teaching or management alone. It can be cohort based, perhaps. Don't read into this too much, but I would see a school with rocky progress as an opportunity to put your best practice into the school and see how you can positively impact the kids. If progress is already outstanding, you will be under insane pressure, and chances are the school will be teaching to the test, so you won't be developing broadly as a teacher.
Just my two cents, of course I am playing devil's advocate here, but don't write off a school just because of an inspection that may have been carried out years ago. A lot can change in a year, and 'atmosphere' counts for a lot when you have to go somewhere everyday.