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Ofsted Legitimacy?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by lermentov, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    "Where schools have a positive experience of inspection, they should say so. Where they believe that inspectors have been acted improperly or unprofessionally, they should also say so. In the latter case, there are also clear procedures to follow to lodge a formal complaint."

    And like so many other Quangos, your complaint is investigated by the quango. The quango demands evidence, not that it's judgements are sound or based on fact, but that it's opinions are wrong.

    "Where complaints arise, they are always investigated and adjudicated upon. If an inspector is found to have acted in breach of Ofsted?s code of conduct, competency action can be taken."

    Well. OFSTED investigating OFSTED.

    Now, I know of an OFSTED thug who bullied a vulnerable teenage girl in a Special School (despite being warned repeatedly in advanced about her vulnerability and likely response to highly aggressive questioning) who subsequently needed medical assistance. This doesn't bother OFSTED.

    My children's school was pulled apart by an idiot who has less understanding of statistics than my dog. "Moronic ******" is being generous. He is untouched too. Almost every statement was incorrect, many of them demonstrably so. Still an RGI.

    OFSTED are unaccountable, untouchable, government patsies who should be closed down immediately. Despite all their whining about how much they help, they have an overwhelmingly negative effect on education. Compared to HMI, they are quite laughably incompetent.

    Now the whole thing is run on a quite laughably incompetent system based around the national tests. ******, these tests mean absolutely NOTHING !! They are rigged at all levels. They don't measure quality of education.

    As OFSTED are completely in hoc to the DfES (theoretically they can challenge it but they don't), their "quality" is invariably defined as compliance with whatever witless ill-thought out **** the DfES has decided to dump on schools this week (usually in expensive glossy colour brochures).

    This moronic system has almost completely destroyed education in the country in favour of a system dedicated to the meeting of arbitrary targets dreamt up by the terminally ignorant and incompetent in Brown's Turkey Army who wouldn't last ten minutes in any job which required any talent.

    Having totally f**ked up the state system, they are now trying to dump their drivel on the independent system. We put our kids in the state schools BECAUSE we don't want them doing the pathetically irrelevant trivial drivel (see 21st C science) that the Government's cronies dump on everyone in the latest round of half witted meta-meddling.
  2. I agree pretty much with autismuk. He quite rightly looks at the complaints procedure and tears it to pieces. Let's consider though - if you have a complaint about your Ofsted inspection firstly you can bring it up with the inspector - who is, ahem, always more than willing to listen. Failing that you can have a different Ofsted inspector investigate your complaint. Failing that you can request Ofsted carry out a second impartial investigation (Note the words 'Ofsted' and 'impartial' leading us into oxymoronic territory!).
    So the first three levels are complaints are all investigated by this unelected, unaccountable organisation. If all these three avenues are exhausted then we can take our complaint to Independent Complaints Adjudicator who will offer imparital views and advice - great use when you and your school have been thrown to the dogs. Who is the Independent Complaints Adjudicator you must all be asking? - yes that was singular; there is only one - go figure!
    Her name is Elizabeth Derrington. This independent adjudicator is appointed by the secretary of state (I could mention the Hutton Report here and bring in the notion of the public's perception of what the government mean by independent - but better not!). Now they can look at:
    Failure to follow proper procedures
    Discrimination or injustice
    Failure to accept and apologise for mistakes

    They can't look at:

    Complaints from Ofsted staff and contractors
    Complaints about Government policy and legislation
    Issues where there is a right of appeal through a Tribunal or the Courts.

    And the important bit they can make recommendations for action to Ofsted either to redress failings in an individual case or to improve inspection and/or complaint-handling procedure.

    If Ofsted does not accept their recommendations it will publish its reasons for doing so.

    And the school making the complaint at this point will presumambly be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

    The great irony is that this procedure - flawed and ridiculous as it is - is all if you work from within the system. Any complaints about Ofsted's methodologies, or what they are inspecting, or any other fundamental problems you have - forget about it! Vote in five years for a new government - that's democracy for you!

  3. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    Yes..... if your average HT as a concern or complaint about the inspection, they're really likely to take it up with the person who is responsible and just about to write a report on them. (God forbid anyone should suggest that a complaint might colour the report).

    The one addendum to this is whilst in theory sanctions can be taken, in practice, nothing ever happens to an Inspector ..... ever. (Even in the unlikely event you get all the way through the complaints system).

    This applies to public sector bureaucracy in general. A bloke was imprisoned last week here for carelessness and cost cutting leading to the death of an employee. How come the same thing in Social Services, leading to the death of a child, attracts no penalty of any sort to anyone ?

    (Take heart, it might be worse. CSCI (the group that does care homes etc.) has a similar system except you always get the same Inspector. So if you complain, the b*stards will come looking for revenge..... so hardly anyone complains)

    Needless to say, the absence of complaints for OFSTED is touted as a good thing by them. It requires a spectacularly Nelsonian attitude not to notice that virtually every teacher hates it, (whether they do well or not).
  4. Hear, hear, autismuk - I really couldn't agree more. My best friend's school seems to have been 'emergency inspected' and then failed. Nothing to do with the fact that the school is in an area where the government have recently been denied a lovely shiny new academy, I am sure.
    It really seems highly suspicious to me - one inspector, one day, observed tiny parts of three different lessons within an hour, and then criticised everything, putting unsatisfactory on all counts in written reports, which did not reflect verbal feedback to the head.

    Morale has fallen apart, everyone is furious. Appalling.

  5. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    IMO now for any quangocracy inspectorate (which obviously includes OFSTED) it is almost mandatory to quietly record the verbal feedback as self-defence. If I was a HT, (I'm not) given the high stakes (e.g. if you fail you get sacked), I would !

    If it suits them, they will lie, because there is no accountability. They can do anything they want, they know it, and they behave as if they know it.

    Quite how a school can be failed on one day's visit is beyond me. It could certainly point up that a school is at risk leading to further investigation, no problem with that.

    Let's reroute the system. Any complaint against OFSTED is investigated by the Head Teacher of the school in question. If the inspector doesn't like that, then it can be independently investigated by the Deputy Head. Bear in mind that the school's opinion is assumed to be correct unless directly evidenced to be wrong.

    Stupid ?

    What's the difference between that and OFSTED's "accountability" ?

  6. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

  7. Are you sure that's not a typo - Raise Standards, Improve Lies?

    Because the whole sorry procedure is based on lying about a system of lies.
  8. How the bloody hell can one guy come in for one day and deem a school unsatisfactory!!

    What evidence!!!

    If I was the head - I'd dismiss his claims as libelous!! Absolute travestY!!!

    Imagine walking into a GP and spending 15 minutes with each one, writing up your report and saying "OK pal you're unsatisfactory!!" Absolute joke!

    Basically their SAT's were **** hence they're unsatisfactory!!!

    If attainment is poor - then achievement is poor! BOLL+@:%!!! The honest heads who provide a good education for the children and do not drag 11 year olds through the SAT's mire get punished!!!
  9. Smithy, agree with you on SATs. With regard to the 'unsatisfactory': the school hasn't been placed in Special Measures, but now has the certainty of further inspections - how many and when, nobody knows, thus keeping everyone in a state of horrible stress and suspense. Now all of the teachers are being forced to spend hours looking at data, instead of planning decent, engaging lessons for the kids.

    It is an absolute disgrace.
  10. We've just completed our OFSTED goosestep in the last couple of weeks and all I can say is thank God I'm getting out of teaching this July. I cannot see any positive benefits to education in any shape or form that these people who appear to model themselves on the Stasi of old East Germany bring to schools or pupils. The perception they create within schools is totally negative and that their visit is intemded to find things wrong so that they can proclaim from on high that we are not up to the job. Didin't bother me and a number of other staff as they take the attitude that if they don't like what they see then tough. I feel terribly sorry for younger teachers (those that stick it that is!) who percieve all this nonsense as "normal" and are willing to accept it as part of their job. I really hope that the government scrap the whole system, lay these overpaid parasites off and let teachers get on with job. Perhaps the ex inspectors can get a job shovelling sh*t for a living, get inspected themselves and told they are inadequate at that. End of rant, counting the days to the end of all this nonsense.
  11. mnn


    Well, I think this is an EXTREMELY important question, the most important question in education in England at the moment, actually.
    The question is, where is the evidence that Ofsted has done anything to improve the standards in our schools? I think there is a very strong case to be made that the whole Ofsted agenda is not only not helping but is causing tremendous damage to the education of our children –not to mention the mental well-being of teachers.
    Despite Ofsted having been torturing our schools for many years, the standards in Mathematics in England have been continually falling according to international comparisons, such as PISA. We all know that all the “better results” are just a consequence of tests, such as GCSEs and A-Levels, becoming ridiculously easy. But international comparisons cannot be manipulated in that way.
    Ofsted rates lessons from 1 (Outstanding) to 4 (Inadequate). Where is the evidence that lessons rated as 1 produce more learning that lessons rated as 4? This is a simple question and central to the whole Ofsted methology. Can Ofsted answer this question in a simple way?
    I am a scientist and Ofsted should be able to produce plenty of evidence that teachers that are better according to its criteria -i.e. better rated teachers- produce more progress in their students. Where is that evidence?
    Have there been any rigorous studies carried out about what is actually that the Ofsted lesson observations are actually measuring?
    I have not seen that evidence anywhere and I doubt very much that any can be produced. I have on the contrary plenty of (admittedly anecdotal) evidence of the contrary. My own lessons are a good example. I have never obtained an outstanding but year after year my classes outperform by wide margins classes taught by Ofsted-supposedly-outstanding teachers.
    All this needs to be better elaborated but I think there is a strong case to question the legitimacy and the morality of the Ofsted framework.
    And I believe two things. 1) That instead of dismantling the GTCE, Gove should dismantle Ofsted and maintain the GTCE (maybe in an altered form). 2) That it is time for the unions to start considering seriously the case for teachers to boycott Ofsted, plain and simple.
    In my view Ofsted has been assigned a task that they cannot carry out properly. And therefore they are doing a terrible job and causing a lot of damage on the way.

  12. Please consider joining 'the campaign for sensible reform to Ofsted' It is easy to join on Facebook or you can add your comments to the thread of that name if you search in the bar above.
  13. My understanding of the process is not that they are judging the quality of teaching merely on the 20-25 minutes seen, but that the observations are supposed to back up the self evaluation of the management, i.e. if SLT think the quality of teaching is outstanding then ofsted are looking for evidence of that in their observations; if the assessment is that the quality of teaching is satisafactory, then ofsted will be looking for evidence of this, plus evidence that some might be good (or needing improvement.)
    Hope this makes sense.
  14. That does make sense and in our recent ofsted, the inspectors stated that there was a mismatch between what SLT thought was happening in the classrooms and what actually was. However Ofsted were basing that judgement on the 20 minute visit to the classrooms. Half the teachers scored satisfactory and the other half scored good with a small number of Outstanding - all based on a quick visit.
    In my case the inspector said '...a lot of what you are doing is good, but I can't give you good because not every single one of your pupils has made <u>good</u> progress in the time I have been in the classroom'. She pointed to the (now empty) seat of a boy who had been mildly off task after he had himself been subject to questioning by the inspector. (The staff have countless stories that are similar to mine).
    The school's Teaching and Learning was rated satisfactory based on evidence from the observations. This rating had an impact on all the other categories and we recieved a satisfactory rating for all four categories.
    I hold the view that the SLT have a much better idea of whether my teaching is good or satisfactory than the ofsted inspectors - we have a very pro-active approach to lesson observations in our school - formal and informal.
    Our progress, achievement and attainment has been excellent and improved year on year since before I started at the school over 7 years ago. It was acknowledged that this data is very good but the evidence had no effect whatsoever on the overall rating.

  15. Not as bright - any teacher who gets into a panic when asked to cover a GCSE Maths lesson shouldn't be teaching at secondary level. Any teacher who can't spell and produces written work containing lots of grammatical errors should not be teaching at secondary level. Weasels - Citizenship, PSHE, Health and Social Care, Hairdressing, Beauty....do I really need to go on?
  16. Borderslass, it seems that the practice is not bearing out the theory on this. You and your colleagues must be so frustrated, having taken all possible steps to be as good as you possibly could. I empathise with you all.

    Billybong, colleagues with these shortcomings shouldn't get through ITT, isn't that the real point here? In my experience, those types of problems are not limited to the people you categorise as "weasels."
  17. Many apologies. I suggested that people who had poor numeracy and literacy shouldn't be teaching at secondary level. What I meant to say was that they shouldn't be teaching at any level. It follows that they should certainly not be members of the SLT and certainly should not be inspecting schools. Do we know what tests are applied to Ofsted inspectors? I assume they have to pass some pretty stringent examinations to demonstrate their fitness to judge schools and headteachers.
    I agree that "being-academically-intelligent-enough-to-teach" ought to be weeded out before candidates are enlisted onto teacher training courses. However, as far as I am aware, it is mandatory for teachers to have a grade 'C' or above in English and Mathematics before they can be accepted. If literacy and numeracy are still poor, this would suggest that the examinations aren't equipping them for life beyond school. Teachers also have to pass several short computer-based 'skills' tests. When I did the skills tests I did them all in the same session and passed first time. They were incredibly simple. I was astounded to find out how panicky other candidates got about these tests and I am appalled when I hear about teachers who had to take a skills test several times before being able to pass. Some of those teachers who struggled to pass literacy and numeracy tests are rated as good or outstanding.
  18. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    This is something that has really bewildered me especially in recent years. Schools revolved around the education of children but the fear of Ofsted and fulfilling the criteria. Many teachers would love to make a stand but are afraid to make a stand for fear of bullying from SMT. The unions could do a lot here. Many teachers I speak to just seem willing to accept that 'this is the way it is' rather than questioning.
    Not sure about this
    Agreed. A much greater stand needs to be made against Ofsted as it really is ruining the education system in this country. I suspect the unions are worried about any bad press they would get from making a stand against Ofsted. A decently bit of explaining to the general public on their reasons for this action would go along way. Any they are supposed to be representing their members not pandering to the general public.
    Absolutely. The job used to be enjoyable with the occasional interference from Ofsted. Now everything we do is Ofsted this and Ofsted that. Menawhile we are losing site of what we are there to do. We are told how to teach when in reality what suits one teacher will not suit another. Lessons taught the 'Ofsted' way day after day can be very boring for the children.
    Exactly. Very little training takes place. The inset days are often taken up with pointless initiatives that are being introduced. Teachers are turned away from going on training course because there is no money. Maybe if they abandoned Ofsted and put the money into schools for teacher training then perhaps teachers would get a higher quality training experience.


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