Friday, 12 June 2009

Ofsted's revised regime

This morning, Ofsted has been all over the media speaking about the revised inspection regime.

Now I am not a union-basher (I actually used to be a Branch Secretary!) but the following bugged me:

But the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, John Dunford, said there was "considerable anxiety" among members about the new inspection framework.
He said: "I am extremely concerned that Ofsted is again raising the bar and making it harder to get good and outstanding grades.
"It's like telling athletes running a four-minute mile that they need to do a mile and a quarter in the same time."

Duh! Isn't that what athletes actually do - try to run faster next time!

In business we realise that you are not progressing if you are standing still - standards need to improve constantly. What is so wrong about the same philosophy applying in education! Or perhaps we should go back to slates, the cane and Victorian educational values?

I see the improved regime as exactly that - an improved (yet probably not perfect) regime. If the teaching union(s) were more prepared to accept that the world changes, that some teachers are actually below par and that our children deserve ever-improving standards of education then I might be more willing to listen to their views. Meanwhile, please get out of our way while those of us who are working for a better future , rather than a comfortable past, get on with delivering it.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Ofsted are (probably) coming...

It is three years in October since we got a Satisfactory ( and reviewing the paperwork it was probably verging on Good)so we reckon that a visit is likely in the Autumn term. So what, if anything, need we be doing in preparation?

The purist answer - to which I fundamentally subscribe - is that if the school is doing its' job effectively then Ofsted should be able to drop in at any time (unannounced inspections) and find the school working well.

The realist/pragmatist's answer is that whilst we want to keep the pressures and stresses on staff to a minimum (it's a tough enough job anyway!), we want to make the best impression possible and that comes from preparation not passivity (Proper Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance!).

So I and the governing body are going to be working with the leadership team to insulate the majority of the staff from any hassle as well as making sure that our ducks actually are lined up. This is where the fun starts...