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HiViz Jackets! Burn them!

Discussion in 'Education news' started by verdgris, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Discussions would flow so much more freely if people weren't pedants who pretend not to understand internet shorthand.

    The point is made. And it's clear. Ofsted are continually moving the goalposts in public pronouncements, whilst stories abound of them remaining inert in practice - stories supported by the experiences of many who post at TES.

    SLTs are stuck, either take a chance that Ofsted's pronouncements are honest, or gold plate everything. And SLTs are generally not known to be risk takers.
    SomethingWicked likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Firstly - I heard the HT of the school speaking at the time of the inspection, and I was quite happy to believe what the school said about the inadequacies of the OfSTED inspection. And, at the time, it was not the only rural school penalised for not being protected like a high security prison.

    As for me - I went through 6 (or maybe 7...I've tried to block them out of my memory), the last one about 5 or 6 years ago. And in one I certainly saw OFSTED acting like a nanny with OCD they were so far up their own ars# over H & S.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  3. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    Many news reports on both TV and the radio this week emphasized the point that an OFTED spokesperson claimed that schools molly coddle children,wrap them up in cotton wool and that they need to stop their obsession with risk assessment etc. Hi viz jackets and bans on conker fights were given in evidence of the risk averse culture prevalent in most schools today.
    As a Governor of a Maintained Nursery school Federation I recently attended a conference in Sweden, which concluded a 3 year project called the Bric project of which we as a Nursery Federation had been part ,one of 16 pre schools.This was a project ,funded by Erasmus / the EU ,created and organised by Professor Tim Waller and was a joint British,Swedish and Italian collaboration of Pre school teachers. One of the key speakers spoke brilliantly and thought provokingly about how we ,as a society ,have shrunk the world of small children and their right to independent action over the past 30 years, to a few miserly yards.He asked us to think carefully when we make our risk assessments for activities outside the walls of the school and to try to balance out the risk with the benefits of the activity and to come down on the benefits side.It is worth visiting the BRIC project website for links to the speeches of the contributors to the final conference.
    As a MFL teacher for 35 years I led many,many trips abroad, including exchanges. Yes, the hazards of foreign travel and teenagers were obvious to all of us ,but we dealt with them.25 -35 years ago we did not have such a a litigious society ,parents trusted the professionalism of teachers,( sometimes unwisely !),the problems of sexting,social media,terrorism et al were not an issue for us then.
    At the Nursery schools where I volunteer and am a Governor ,we wear Hi- viz jackets , both staff and children,when we take our 2,3 and 4 year olds out into town, to visit parks, public spaces,churches, care homes,to go on buses, etc .They have weekly welly Wednesday walks and their little yellow jackets are viewed with approbation by most people who spot us out and about.` They look like little rays of sunshine` is one of the quotes we got from an elderly inhabitant recently.
    As usual ,OFSTED and the powers that be ( Government,Education department etc ) are now doing do a volte face, or is it a U turn ? on issues like risk assessment etc ,now that they can see what their meddling into schools affairs has done and the damage it has caused over the past 20 years .
    Hopefully ,incessant risk assessments, the madness of exams being held at every key stage and the stress it causes our children , the forced academisation of all schools, PM , targets,Teach First instead of Uni based ITT, schools being run as businesses, league tables ,constant changes to GCSEs and A levels,and more will be consigned to the dustbin of history and not before time and perhaps in 30 years time ,these horrors will be looked back on as the hideous mistakes they are.
    When will schools and teachers be trusted to do what is right for the children in their care ?
    Stop deprofessionalising us ,trust us and let us do the job we have always done and done well.
    `Hey,OFSTED,leave those schools alone` , for a while at least ,please !
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  4. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

  5. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    It isn't pedantry to claim that an entire statement is completely false. I'm not arguing about small details, I'm saying the whole claim is nonsense.

    Just because the woman mentions in a talk that she doesn't feel that children should be needlessly over protected (to the extent that they miss out on valuable experiences), does not mean the whole organisation no longer considers safeguarding important.

    The reason poor practices get put in place under the 'Ofsted want to see it...' mantra is that poor quality leaders have listened to what people 'have heard', rather than bothering to find out the actual facts of the matter.

    Reading the inspection handbook might be a good place to start, rather than some empty article on an online newspaper...
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Funny thing is that (as of less than a year ago) 89 percent of schools were rated good or better at their last inspection, which suggests to me that the vast majority knew what they were supposed to be doing and manged the inspection process just fine.

    Surely it is not beyond the realms of imagination that the remanding 11 (or so) percent do actually need to improve in some way or other.

    Even in the letter that the school wrote to parents after the inspection findings, it is conceded that they don't even have locks on doors in the right places. This is pretty stupid, Ofsted or no Ofsted.
    wanet likes this.
  7. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    Pretty sure she's got a name mate.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  8. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  9. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    No, no, no.

    The reason is that people have had recent experiences of Ofsted where they've found them to be safeguarding loopy.
  10. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    As I say, the big issue isn't safeguarding in itself.

    It's just yet another Ofsted change which must fear won't be a change.

    A myth busting press release when it's no myth at all.

    Can anyone remember Sean Harford's hilarious comment that he couldn't believe inspectors were still mentioning deep marking after they'd been told not to?

    Whose in charge here?

    If I didn't follow my school's marking policy I'd be put on capability then sacked. He just shrugs his shoulders and say he's sorry his inspectors aren't going as they're told.

    Next step, they follow his advice and don't MENTION marking, whilst examining it in great detail.
  11. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I've had this exact conversaion directly with Sean Harford. He told me that if an inspector is violating the guidelines given in the Nov 2016 School Inspection Update (by commenting on the effectiveness of any particular method of marking or by attributing any degree of pupil progress to a given method of marking) the HT should print off a copy and ask them which bit they don't understand!

    Remember Ofsted did cull a lot of 1000 inspectors only a couple of years ago.
  12. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Right until the end I thought you were going to report he said the HT should report the inspector who would have disciplinary action taken against them.

    As if a HT is going to risk p***ing off an inspector.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I shouldn't think you will find too many inspectors or HMIs prepared to violate the direct written instructions of their national director on this matter. It has been quite a big issue for Ofsted to deal with internally. You won't be able to provide evidence of a report from this year that comments on the effectiveness of the approach to marking or that attributes any (good/poor) rate of pupil progress to the method of marking employed.

    Also, I think you'd be surprised how many heads are more than willing to take on an inspection team. In fact, in plenty of cases, it is the arguments that the head makes that tips the balance and gains the school a good(+) rating.
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    This is such a great post. Thanks for this, I really enjoyed reading it; so much common sense here. Risk is good. Risk is part of life. Many of the best achievements in my life were risks. Look at creative writing. Give the kids a few random elements or a story grid, and their compositions improve threefold - pacier, more experimental, more varied. Why do so few of us apply this to our own lives, our own life stories? This risk averse English culture - it's deadening the spirit. It's everything about avoiding bullying litigation and has nothing to do with genuine learning. We succeed through failure.
  15. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    We can complain all we like. Schools are not the problem.

    If you take kids out, and one gets hurt and possibly wouldn't have been if wearing a HiViz jacket, then guess what? Schools are going to make kids wear HiViz jackets, because they won't risk being sued.

    It really is that simple.

    If you want schools to take risks, remove the possible penalty for them taking risks. As long as schools may be sued for doing/not doing something, then they'll continue to avoid the chance of being sued.
  16. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Senior commenter

    We took two year groups to the seaside in the last week of term and that was 120 children. We went in two coaches and the children all wore shorts and t shirts. No hi viz jackets at all. We took over part of the beach a bit further down from the main action of the resort, adults sat around the perimeter and three paddled with the children. It was brilliant. Kids got soaked, buried in sand and the only living creatures who actually needed a risk assessment were the poor crabs who were inspected and provided with new homes whether they wanted them or not (the children were gentle but still thrilled to find and fuss them). Our pre trip planning was detailed but we wanted to give them the full on seaside experience. We even had two cake sales in the run up to the trip so the children got an ice cream mid afternoon and a stick of rock to take home. Hopefully many of them will remember this trip when they are adults, it was that sort of magical day.
    brighton56 likes this.
  17. brighton56

    brighton56 Occasional commenter

    And that's how it should be.

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