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All the evidence that you need that Ofsted just don't get it

Discussion in 'Education news' started by PeterQuint, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    peggylu and install like this.
  2. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Who's going to do the scanning?
    install likes this.
  3. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    The second link won't open for me. Can someone summarise please?
    install likes this.
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    The watchdog’s chief inspection Amanda Spielman gave a speech at the fifth annual national conference of ResearchED today, in which she explained areas of development she will be focusing on in the coming months.

    She described book scrutiny as “something which is very useful when it is used in the right way” in one of the closing sessions at the event.

    “Like so many things, you put too much weight on it and it buckles, use it in the right way – it’s really valuable,” she said.

    “There are things we can do to isolate the book scrutiny process – both to test whether inspectors’ conclusions are consistent with each others’, and whether it gives a valid picture of teaching quality and pupils’ progress.”

    Spielman added that new scanning software could also be used to share book scrutiny amongst inspectors, rather than leaving it to the individual visiting the school under inspection.

    “There’s rather good scanning quality now, so the views of other inspectors, remote from the live inspection, could be drawn in to test out the judgments of inspectors on site,” she said.
    install likes this.
  5. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    If there's no preferred method or regularity if marking, and Michaela got an outstanding for no marking, why would they do any sort of book scrutiny?
  6. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Re. Second link.
    So much wrong with the underlying understanding of learning here but I will just suggest that looking at an exercise book, devoid of context and of the child/teacher interaction is meaningless. This is one of the problems with in house and inspectorate book scrutinies - so even more pointless with a remote inspector.
    I can see this becoming even more pressure on teachers.
    1 teachers comment v. The view of 8(?) inspectors ???

    I think spielman is really trying but she just doesn't have the grounding in classrooms/schools as they are today.
    blueskydreaming, peggylu and install like this.
  7. install

    install Star commenter

    Ofsted need to go now....

    Things would improve from all the money saved if the gov't put it into schools instead.:cool:
    lanokia, peggylu and PeterQuint like this.
  8. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Apologies for my poor manners.
    Thank you @harsh-but-fair for the extract
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  9. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    No problem.


  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    On its own, yes, the book scrutiny doesn't amount to much. I've read enough threads about best books and rough books in KS2 to realise that some books may not tell much of a story of learning.
    A good inspection should involve proper observation of teaching, looking at children's work, exam results and dialogue with pupils, teachers and management before constructive help is offered.
    lizziescat likes this.
  11. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Yup @phlogiston
    It's the dialogue with teachers (especially about their marking) which was lacking.
  12. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    But Ofsted have no preferred method of marking (so they say) and Michaela has had an outstanding grade doing no marking at all.

    No one has a clue what's going on at Ofsted, so why is it any surprise when SLTs adopt gold-plated, draconian marking policies, just to be on the safe side.

    And what has this led to? The current workload crisis Spielman claims to want to tackle.

    She's either stupid, ignorant, or dishonest. And this is all the evidence we need.
    drek, Jesmond12 and peggylu like this.
  13. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Spot on.

    This quote from her in the second article speaks volumes. (my bold).

    'Our main focus this year is the curriculum...'
    install likes this.
  14. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Exactly, they are caught between a rock and a hard place, and we all pay the price for this situation.
    install and PeterQuint like this.
  15. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I've lost count if the number of times I've read here that "It's all SLT's fault - Ofsted don't look at marking anymore".

    This puts that myth to bed. They're not looking at books to see whether the school orders Ines with margins.
  16. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    I have to disagree with some of the comments above - it is possible to glean quite a lot from book scrutiny - are the books marked? What is the standard of presentation? Is the student/pupil child making progress? Is the curriculum coverage about right? Are all students/pupils allocated the same task or are expectations different dependent on the ability/needs of the student/pupil? I'm sure there's more but its Sunday evening...
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    The primary purpose of work-scrutiny is to see what the students are doing, not the teachers. (Although they will check that the school's own assessment and feedback policy is being adhered to.)

    Ofsted look at books as they give a strong indication of progress over the duration of the year and also demonstrate curriculum coverage.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
    Stiltskin and Startedin82 like this.
  18. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    If Ofsted want to know how much progress students make, there are these things called GCSEs which would tell you far more.

    They are, after all, sat by pretty much every student, whilst Ofsted only manage to see a handful of books.

    Ofsted marking down for scruffy work is a disgrace. Have they ever tried to read a (massively intelligent) doctor's prescription.

    Are all staff following the marking policy? Hold on, that'll largely be how often books are marked. The policy may say five times a term (or whatever). So why scan the books and send the scans to HQ?

    Can Ofsted inspectors not count to five?

    The idea that Ofsted fail schools because some staff/students don't think underlining a title is important is yet another sign of everything that's wrong with the whole rotten system.

    Ofsted are there to report on standards. Looking at a few books suggests they're reporting on style.

    Finally, as we've seen, the fact that they look at all has been largely responsible for a massive hike in workload - teachers count marking as the worst contributor. And both Ofsted and government say they want to reduce workload.

    Will scanning (for which read closer scrutiny) make matters better or worse, do we think?
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  19. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    I simply don't believe anything that comes from Ofsted anymore.

    They said they wouldn't ask for predictions for this year's English and Maths GCSEs due to HoDs not having a flipping clue about the new exams. I was asked several times for my predictions, then questioned why I was 'uncertain'.

    They say they want teacher workload reduction to be a priority but won't condemn or comment in reports on pressures from Heads and SLT bodies that demand excessive workload. They also refuse to see the irony of their criticisms of workload when Ofsted is one of the main drivers of most of the utter shote that we do.

    They say they don't want to see particular types of marking. My own department was criticised for not being totally uniform in its marking (it was all in line with the department policy but some of the department had used different colours for peer marking...imagine!!!) and I was personally criticised for not picking up on it (I had but I didn't think it was important). Marking and feedback has been commented on in every report for schools around here. Consistency and regularity are therefore imposed with rigid marking routines and timings so we have no option to say 'busy week due to reports so I'll leave it a week' anymore.

    They say they don't want individually graded lessons but the inspectors at my place asked point blank for how many Good or Outstanding lessons they'd see as they walked around. If that's not expecting lesson gradings, I don't know what is.

    They say that they want to give fair reports. There were several inaccuracies in my school's report (and several about my own department, two of which were just wrong and a few which I didn't understand because their conclusions did not match questions asked). A registered protest did not change the inaccuracies. Those statements are now in the public domain - incorrect and reflecting poorly on me and on my department and my school - for the next two years (or whenever they deign to return).

    They say they don't want lesson plans ready for them or information they can't just pick up. A former colleague of mine was asked in front of her entire class (at a Primary school) where her SEN data was. She had to stop her group reading exercise to collect it. In the report, the school was criticised for teachers not knowing the individual needs of their students and having the information to hand.

    Everything they say is just piffle.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I get that you don't like Ofsted and all but...

    GCSE grades alone don't tell anybody anything about progress. They tell you about attainment at a certain point in time. Attainment is an important factor in measuring a school's performance, but it would unfair on many schools to use it alone in measuring the effectiveness of teaching & learning.

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