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Is this style of lesson obs over the top

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Aquasheriff, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. A collegue has informed me that this week her head is going to observe the lesson, do pupil interviews and book scans. But not a date or time, it could be any time in the week. Its formal. Is this appropriate?
  2. A collegue has informed me that this week her head is going to observe the lesson, do pupil interviews and book scans. But not a date or time, it could be any time in the week. Its formal. Is this appropriate?
  3. To be told that you will be observed soon, but not when is perfectly legitimate. Adding in pupil interviews and book scans at the same time seems OTT, unless the HT means they will talk to pupils in the lesson and look at their books as part of the observation process. That would be sensible.

  4. Thanks for your advice Tom. Can I ask, is it just the Head that can do this or can the deputy do it as well? Not sure if the scans and interviews will be at the same time but your knowledge on this is helpful.
  5. Anyone on the leadership team or a subject leader can undertake these activities.
  6. mickeyforpresident

    mickeyforpresident New commenter

    Observations for the purpose of performance management need 5 days notice. Looking at books and talking to chn is cool.
  7. mickey, I don't think that is not quite correct.
    There are no legal "rules" on this. As far as I remember even the Model Policy put out by RIG in 2007 does not state this. What I think it does say is that it should be clear when in the cycle observations will take place. It does not even say that a date / time has to be fixed, though it would be good practice to give reasonable notice. What it does say is that written feedback must be given in 5 days.
    The RIG document is only guidance and it was up to each school to formulate its own PM policy. Presumably most schools adopted the RIG model to avoid re-inventing the wheel.
  8. Thank you all for your replies. I've always had the privilege of know exactly when observation were going to take place. I'm not sure many staff would feel happy that an observation can take place at any time during the next week. Even OFSTED is usually only two days! However, having said that, it does mean as a head you will get to see lessons as they truly are and not as a performance. Once again, thank you for your advice.
  9. Sadly for some SMTs this is the only real means of monitoring what is going on, esopecuially if you have a memebr of staff that is not perofrming no matter what support has been given, yet reluctant to acknoeldge/deal with the issues....
  10. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    ................................. and that is often the reason for overzealous SMT. One member of staff is seen as not performing well so all are then targeted.
    Seen it before.
    Got the Tee shirt
    Now to wait for retirement and write the book.
  11. No notice lesson observation seems rather harsh if you're trying to get the best out of people in your own school. If it were related to Performance Management then surely there would be an agreed focus linked to areas for improvement. In this case, some notice would be necessary in order that the teacher could demonstrate those agreed improvements eg. tricky to show improvements in Writing levels in a swimming lesson.
  12. It can be used becuase of this.
    Likewise we ALL know of teachers that are hapless 99% of the time but then when a planned observation takes place this AMAZING/atleast satisfactory lesson suddenly takes place.
    How else can you ensure that the SMT are getting a true picture - specifically of lesson obs?
    Sadly HTs have always had this ability but in years gone by would rarely have used it as schools were more "open" and not driven by the same things as today....
  13. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Likewise we ALL know of teachers that are hapless 99% of the time but then when a planned observation takes place this AMAZING/atleast satisfactory lesson suddenly takes place.

    So if you are on SMT and you know that this teacher 'is hapless 99% of the time' what do you do about it?
    How do you know this?
    Where is your evidence?
    If you can answer the above then surely you do not need further observations.

  14. Sadly, as most SMT members know, without PROOF, not hearsay etc, actioning this is near impossible.
    And we all DO know, when we're not being facetious, that there are teachers we KNOW are "failing" their students to some degree and need supporting to improve (if they will work on the areas of concern) but it can be difficult proving it. AT the end of the day a teacher that is only effective on their three observations a year, is ineffective and sometimes such generlaised/non-appointed obs are needed.
  15. Surely if the teaching and pupil progress is that bad a process is required. There are many ways to collect evidence and hold teachers accountable alongside lesson observation.
  16. One would think so, but sadly no when it comes to being successful with managing such teachers and certainly not if it comes down to competency...
  17. Yes it is appropriate otherwise how does the head teacher know what is going on - all teachers are accountable and therefore the head should be able to monitor at any time and check what is going on in pupils books.
  18. Why not just go in frequently and keep up a dialogue about pupil progress and teaching suggestions in a friendly but determined manner? Why put people on edge with no notice lesson inspection/observation? Did Head's enjoy no notice inspection from Ofsted? If Teachers expect to see you at any time and know you'll be talking to children and looking at their work regularly then surely they will keep up the pace willingly and will enjoy demonstrating their progress to you (many do enjoy talking about their job in theclassroom). You can arrange lesson observations of others etc. and follow this up. The dialogue demonstrates your interest in them improving and not standing still. When more formal observations come around then the dialogue continues with judgement expected as an outcome. I have had to deal with a number of arrogant, lazy and/or incapable teachers in my time and it had to be done. No notice observations were not part of my successful procedures. When dealing with the hard to shift you can't leave yourself open to attack with what could be perceived as 'aggressive' no notice observation. Persistent dogged focus on learning on all levels does work. Venn Diagrams, colour trackers etc. all ask the question -demonstrate your class is making progress.
  19. Ofsted Inspectors do not tell you when they are coming to observe you - all teachers know is that they are likely to be observed at some point over a 2 day inspection. SLTs need to know which teachers are up to drop in observations and who will struggle - that way they can offer appropriate support. Also, if a HT knows that a teacher will struggle with a drop in visit it is possible to support them more during an inspection.
  20. It's about ethos. What sort of staff, teaching and learning do you want? An honest, open collaborative staff who enjoy learning and improving their craft or else rabbits in the headlights, not having a reasonable conversation about learning and rigour but just constantly on edge, never feeling quite good enough. Ofsted are not the driver in school development. They come and check occasionally and can spot a performer and cover up in the classroom. If we want to improve teaching then the only way is to develop reflective, confident autonomous Teachers who are treated respectfully.

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