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Dear James: Mentor Observations Using Ofsted Standards!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by tamz999, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'm recently had my 3rd mentor observation and my fourth is coming up soon. I was a little taken aback by the standards used for my last observation.
    Having just had a County inspection and with Ofsted due any time I do understand the senior management's desire to make staff more aware of what Ofsted will be looking for and I even used the Ofsted inspection form thing to help me plan and really structure what my children would be learning. However, as an NQT I found it really frustrating to be given 'Good' for everything apart from progress made by children which was 'Satisfactory'. My mentor did tell me that it was nearly a good as the lower level children all made good progress by that my middle group struggled and only made expected progress so he had to put the level for that as Satisfactory and he then said that as a result of this my whole lesson could only be Satisfactory. I had recognised mid-way through the lesson that the children weren't making good progress. (Monday first lesson and they seemed to have forgotten everything from last week) I added in a mini-plenary to try and get them back on course as well but only got the expected progress out of them despite this. Can this one factor, with only one ability grouping, be enough to drag my whole lesson down?

    I'm not certain how to respond. I would like to be assessed according to the Core Standards not Ofsted criteria but can you tell me if this is unreasonable? It's really demoralising as every other staff member in the school is 'Good' and the head keeps banding figures about that 75% of the teaching is good. It doesn't take a genius for me to work out that as the 8th teacher and not good I'm the weak link! :-(

  2. im also an NQT and am observed using the ofsted criteria. I personally dont see the problem, if anything its getting me used to observations that will happen after my NQT year, and i see no reason why i shouldnt be working towards those criterion
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Take heart if there are 8 teachers and 75% is good then there are two of you with satisfactory. And as an NQT getting good for every bit except one is pretty good going anyway.

    I was going to discuss moving towards using Ofsted criteria rather than standards next term with my NQT and HT as she has met all the professional standards possible in a lesson every single time she has been observed anyway. No point keeping going and repeating myself. But there will definitely be a discussion first.
  4. I think it's reasonable to be assessed by Ofsted criteria: if Ofsted turn up next week then you need to be prepared for what they're looking for.
    What is unreasonable is for them to expect you, in your NQT year, to be anything above Satisfactory. For you to be achieving 'good' for some elements is excellent and I really don't think it's fair for anyone to expect more than that. Headteacher's always band these sorts of statistics about; but so long as you're not being mentioned by name, I wouldn't worry
  5. If it's Ofsted criteria, then if pupils made expected progress it's satisfactory. The ofsted judgement on teaching and progress are closely linked.
  6. I agree that it's totally ridiculous to expect NQTs to be getting "good" as a minimum. Some of the horror stories on here about induction makes me thankful my school is so supportive and good at developing NQTs etc. The first school I did my PGCE in was shocking and I can well imagine they'd be useless at mentoring NQTs and would insist on outstanding all the time even when they are not providing appropriate support.
  7. I think you may find that this has changed.Ofsted focus now pretty much on the learning of the pupils. I've recently had ofsted training on inspection.. Every ability group should be making above expected progress to achieve 'good' and accelerated progress to achieve 'outstanding'. So the original posters grading is correct. The middle ability children made satisfactory progress and as a result the lesson was satisfactory.
    As for an NQT being graded against the ofsted standards. When I was an NQT and ofsted observed, I was graded just like every other teacher. As for Core standards, my normal observations were related to this but my observer would say what they thought ofsted would give it.
  8. Maybe I got a nice inspector or something. :) I got an outstanding during our recent ofsted inspection but my pupils made "good" progress - she had to add an explanatory note to the assessment sheet to explain her reasoning. I guess it's probably not the norm and she did say as much but claimed there were extenuating circumstances.
    Like UpsidedownWorld, I too get an overall grade a la ofsted for observations but actual observation records and reports are made against core standards.
  9. By recent I mean in January 2011.

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