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Can Governors observe lessons?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Bookshelf2012, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. My Headteacher (new to the school) is suggesting that Governors should be invited into the school to help with observations as they answer to inspectors too. Do you think this is a good idea? What could be the benefits and issues with this?
    Thanks x
  2. We often have governors doing the rounds, recently our Literacy governor observed about 10 mins literacy in all classes from YF to Y6, and said it was great to see the progression (nice to have some positive feedback for once !!!) We also have subject governors observe their subjects so they know abit more about what goes on just in case the big O come knocking, we also have governors run after school clubs.
  3. I don't think it is a good idea but it does happen in my school. I have yet to see a benefit - why should a person with no background in education come to watch us teach and pronounce judgement on us? One issue that has arisen in our school is lack of confidentiality - luckily, I was perceived as having passed the test last year but that was all round the playground in no time. This year I found the governor rude and felt he overstepped the mark. I asked the children to explain what we were learning and one child blurted out the answer, only to be reprimanded by the governor for not putting his hand up. Who are they to come into classrooms and correct children? I would resist this. It seems to me that under this new framework for inspection it is teachers and subject leaders who have the most questions to answer.
  4. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    This is happening at my school this week. As the other poster mentioned, it is seen as a good way to get some semi-informal feedback before the big O arrive
  5. Thank you all for replying,
    I am tending to agree with<u> Maigheo </u>as I can't understand how someone with no qualifications can comment on my teaching.
    <u>HSW10</u> and <u>lazydaisyflower</u>, does this cross your mind?
    Do Ofsted ask them about our teaching styles, our behaviour managment etc.?
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Governors seem to be far more accountable in the new Ofsted framework (and rightly so, one could argue), so it's reasonable for them to 'observe' lessons to see what's happening.
    What wouldn't be appropriate would be for them to give a lesson judgement or any form of feedback. This shouldn't happen under any circumstances.
    I wouldn't worry about it overly. I welcome governors being more involved in the day to day running of schools. I've known of schools where the governors have little or no idea what's going on.
  7. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I think the Governors should be aware what is going on in the school, so have no problem with them observing (in fact I was observed by our chair of governors today). However, I do not think that they should observe alone, or be solely responsible for judgements/feedback if you see what I mean?
  8. Unfortunately, in my experience, you don't get the feedback to your face but you hear it on the grapevine afterwards.
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I have no problem with governors observing for the purpose of finding out what day to day life in school is like. I cannot see how they can carry out their duties otherwise.

    But of course governors shouldn't be making judgements about teaching and learning, other than the blatantly obvious.
  10. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan New commenter

    Governors do NOT observe lessons. They may visit your classroom by prior arrangement if they so wish but they must not evaluate the lesson and must not present an evaluation to the governing body. If this is proposed then I suggest you contact your union immediately. What a cheek!
  11. Our governors don't give a judgement - well they do say if they enjoyed the lesson and if they could see the children enjoying learning. We do have several governors who have worked in education but I have nothing to hide and at the end of the day they are part of the school and as such have the children's and the school's best interest at heart.
  12. Thank you <u>Nick909</u>.
    If their only involvement with the teachers was unannounced observations, would you still be welcoming?
  13. But does it have to be observations? Could it not be as TAs etc. therefore getting to know the children and teachers?
  14. What about assisting the head when he does an observation? Both unannounced?
  15. <u>Lazydaisyflower:</u>
    I have nothing to hide either, there are always observations going on from partner schools, team teaching. LAs etc. Our Governors (that I know) are really nice.
    But the parents are part of the school and have their children's best interests at heart too - is it acceptable if parents are invited in unannounced to your classroom?
    I worry about where it ends??
  16. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Just to make it clear - I did not offer my opinion on it - just how the SLT see it. I guess we will find out later this week.
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If it is to be 'an observation' then having the HT there as well is surely a good thing. They do know what they are looking for and so will give balance to governors who often see quiet good children as evidence of a good lesson.
  18. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    It depends entirely on the circumstances. If it was done as an informal drop in, then I wouldn't mind. Why should I, really? I have nothing to hide. If I was significantly concerned that someone shouldn't be able to pop into any of my lessons, then this would be worrying.
    If it was being done as a formal observation, with feedback and a lesson judgement given then I would be hopping mad and would be in touch with my union.
    In response to the poster above who mentioned that 'feedback' was given as gossip around the playground (my apologies - it was a few posts back and I can't remember who it was), then this is outrageous. I would make a formal complaint in this case.
  19. I understand <u>HSW10</u>, it is yet to be implemented in our school so just wondering about thoughts really. Do let me know how it goes, whether you see it as a positive rather than a negative. Thank you.
  20. Thanks Nick909, I am starting to think I am making too much of a deal about it. I just find that with observation, learning walks, work scrutinies, blah, blah, blah... that this is just another 'thing' I could do without!
    PS: couldn't think of a word for 'thing'!

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