Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ofsted- notice to improve

My previous post gave an idea of the process, this one is my views!


The report is out, we are still deemed to be a "good" school.

During the process however, we were not so sure. The inspectors were too quick to jump to conclusions without enough evidence.

A lot has been written about lesson observations and ofsted. Here are some posts which I have found of particular interest:

   http://www.matthewtaylorsblog.com/thersa/inspector-inspect-thyself/
http://teachertoolkit.me/2013/12/10/progress-over-time-potteaching-by-teachertoolkit/?utm_content=buffer84178&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
http://marymyatt.com/blog/2013-11-23/more-on-lesson-observations
http://tabularasaeducation.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/graded-observations/



I agree 100% with removing individual lesson grades. The new guidance for inspections does seem to be moving in the right direction (See  http://teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/a-christmas-miracle-ofsted-get-it-right-for-once/ )

This is how I think Ofsted should operate:

1. Understand that there is a lot more to a school than the data. Don't come with all the answers.
2. When carrying out observations talk to the head or other leaders before jumping to conclusions based on a brief time in a lesson- Whatever the view of  the lesson is, ask if that is a fair representation. If you don't see something, don't assume it never happens. Similarly, if you do see something ask if that is common practice.
3. Talk to the children! Lots!
4. Remember that what you say can have an enormous impact.


We have to be accountable- I have no problem with that, but I long for a time when the leadership of the school is trusted to do that effectively through non-judgemental  observations, peer observations, coaching and reflection. The role of the external agency should be to support schools in areas that they need, not just tell them what they already know. There will always be areas to be improved. A culture of support will be far more productive in the long term.

HMCI berates teachers for leaving the profession and "moaning" (http://news.tes.co.uk/news_blog/b/weblog/archive/2014/01/15/teachers-must-stop-quot-moaning-quot-says-sir-michael-wilshaw.aspx)
Tristram Hunt wants teachers to be licenced (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25686208) so they can be recognised.

As teachers we nurture the children we teach, we build an environment of praise and reward to encourage them to reach their potential. Surely we deserve the same?

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