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Ofsted Behemoth Rolls On

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Winnie Woo, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    When ours turned up a fortnight ago my first thought as they drove in was 'my car is nicer than yours'!
  2. Ofsted was created in the false belief that large numbers of schools and teachers are incompetent/failing. It is inevitable that there will always be some schools and teachers who perform less well than others. But, after umpteen years we are entitled to ask what difference Ofsted has made. Surely they've had time to weed out the underperformers? Unfortunately, the notion that schools are full of incompetent teachers has become folklore and is accepted as a truism by the political classes. Unless the profession can undermine the notion that schools are full of incompetent teachers, Ofsted will remain and will have free-rein to continue with their reign of terror.
    In my view the main problem in undermining the claim lies in the fact that some schools appear to make changes which result in massive improvements to their grades. I believe that schools which have been poorly run can make dramatic improvements. A simple, consistent, whole-school discipline policies can transform classrooms and allow teachers to do their job more effectively. However, improvements can also be achieved by cheating (e.g. teachers giving students multiple opportunities to draft their coursework or doing it for them). The government should be taking a had, sceptical look at the whole area of assignment-based qualifications which are supposedly "equivalent to" examination-based GCSEs. Ultimately, it is for the exam boards to sort this out. I don't think they should trust schools or teachers. They should introduce assessments which cannot be tampered with.
  3. JumpingStarfish

    JumpingStarfish New commenter

    A fantastic post, however....I start a new school in September. Its overdue an Ofted and is going to be lucky to get satisfactory. Having never been Ofsteded before, I now feel ready to shoot myself rather than have to endure a visit from them.
  4. That's interesting Blazer! I've noticed this before e.g. The Peter Harvey thread----lots of new posters.
    This is a fantastic thread, and I would have missed it if it hadn't been a 'hot topic' as I never normally visit primary.
    Congrats OP
  5. Really enjoyed reading OP and their subsequent post and many of the comments on this thread. There's nothing like a good rant that's well aimed! [​IMG]
  6. Hallo Isocha. I'm definitely coming to work at your school for the reason that the OFSTED inspector stated. ''They do what the teachers tell them to do.' How novel! - and I'll come and visit you at the local 'rest home' and listen to your pearls of wisdom.
    Nil Illeg, Carb mate - you know the rest..

  7. I must be the only person in England who loves OfSTED and for that matter the Welsh inspectorate Estyn. Why you ask... I make my living by advising and writing reports to appeal against some of the ridiculous judgements and logic both these organisations make. Despite Sir Roger Singelton's report both are still data / policy obsessed. My advice?- challenge and accountability can be directed up as well as down the hierarchy so send some their way! Must go now- have 2 appeals to write: the first explaining why it is not necessary to spend £30K to install a 6ft fence around a school to safeguard the children and the second to explain that if all staff in school demonstrate consistent practice it is not appropriate to downgrade them just because it wasn't written down in a file in the office.
  8. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    this thread is becoming a bit of a behemoth rolling on .....
  9. I;m just returning to the forum after a long time away (busy teaching) and felt I had to show my support for the OP. A brilliant post and so well put! OfSted could be reformed to serving a useful purpose and being a constructive force for improving schools. Currently, it is nothing of the sort. I hoped a change in government would provide an opportunity for an overhaul. Holding my breath ...now...
    By the way, I have vague memories of harsh-but-fair as being incapable of saying anything positive or constructive. Some things never change, I suppose.
  10. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    you really need to read more of my posts
  11. Nicely put. I feel we have a slightly less self-important and antiquated approach to inspections than our nevertheless similarly beleaguered colleagues in England, but we still find it hard to stomach the inspectorial swaggers and deliberations. Usually with as much relevance to the reality of our kids as kryptonite.

  12. dgh


    Wonderfully articulated! As someone who also feels like a veteran of the dreaded OFSTED inspectorate, I could not agree with you more. Every inspector I have ever met seems like they could have developed an alternative career as a member of the Waffen SS in a 1950s b-movie. They tend to give the impression that they know best, but most of them dispensed with their actual teaching duties at least thirty years ago. They have absolutely no idea of the complexities involved in the day-to-day running of any educational establishement, and they are also consistently guilty of divorcing education from the troubled society that lies outside of our gates.
  13. Well said - we have no option but to play the game or else! An ofsted is not a pleasant experience even if you are confident that your practise is good. Is this really the best system for judging schools?
  14. I was on a train once and there was a retired ofsted inspector - he was an active inspector when osted was implemented and was quite disillusioned with it.Thought it was damaging nonsense. He suggested that if every time an inspector walked into the room the teacher stopped teaching and walked out, the whole system would end pretty quickly. A simple but effective protest. I thought that was a pretty glorious idea to be honest.
    Cannot forget during my PGCE and a talk with another OFSTED inspector being told that "it comes with experience - you just get a ~~feeling~~ if learning and progress are taking place in a classroom." Nice to know summative judgements are being made within such a fair and consistent framework!
  15. To be fair a few people are probably writing on phones or netbooks like me and miss/keys and dont have a good enough computer connection to redo words.
    Also teachers after a hard days marking dont want to look at grammar and spelling.
    Saying this though as an Australian teacher I have been shocked by seeing misspelt words in work displayed in the classroom and sent home to parents. When quizzing teachers, oh when would we have time to mark and teach spelling we have more important things to do.
    This was primary and back home no one would send work home or display it with misspelt words or uncorrected mistakes but we have more time for marking without inspections or targets although its coming.
  16. Brilliant- you have expressed what I have always felt about Ofsted.
    I think we should be given a resume of inspectors' teaching experience before they come and judge us.
  17. Well put, and only a forum post. Yes if it was in the main TES is might need brushing up a little, but never the less I think you wrote a brave and accurate assessment of the OFSTED experience. I have been through several of varying types over the past 17 years and would say that they are unequivocally the most destructive and demoralising waste of time I have ever encountered - and yet so heavily weighted in importance... You are so right about the expectations of education and learning that we have all come to chant mantra-like regarding lesson objectives et al. People act like its an instant fail if you dont write your LO on the board at the start. I never have by the way, I refuse to conform. Good teaching, good learning good ethos are what raise standards and more importantly EDUCATION (which <> standards) - and that can not be forced by nazi like inspections.
  18. Ofsted.... simply forget they exist, they are paid alot of money! to do something important surely. I qualified in a school which had an Ofsted inspection then moved to another school which also had an Ofsted inspection in my first two weeks of the job, it went into special measures...then more monitoring inspections...improved to satisfactory(good enough!)..and you guessed it I landed in another school..........which is due for an Ofsted inspection GREAT. After nine years of Ofsted inspections they seem to have blended in to the classroom walls. The main thing is I know what I am doing for the children. Being a Physics specialist I wanted to teach and make a difference and that is what I hope I am doing. If they don't like it they know what they can do, If i get up one morning and think enough is enough i'll go back to being a medical physicist.
    Guys don't give them so much attention, they are like the kids.....they love it.
  19. I was a member of staff in a school that failed, I never want to go through that experience again and never will because after money galore being poured into the school and coming out of failure the money disappeared and puff, hours were cut and I decided to leave.
    Teachers who were good, had enough of the continous negativity and left, poor teachers became supply and those in the middle stayed to pick up the debt in more ways than one.
    The mental trauma is beyond belief and that is my last word because I find it still hurts even after all these years.

  20. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I see this little project has been revived ....

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