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Ofsted to ditch satisfactory label

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by John Dabell, Jan 12, 2012.



  1. The new chief of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has said he
    will ditch the label 'satisfactory' because it is misleading. What would you
    replace the current grade descriptors with? The RSA argues that any school
    which is judged ‘satisfactory’ (or performing inconsistently or coasting) twice on the trot
    should be held accountable, given a notice to improve and treated as if it was
    an inadequate school. Is this a step in the right direction?



     


  2. The new chief of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has said he
    will ditch the label 'satisfactory' because it is misleading. What would you
    replace the current grade descriptors with? The RSA argues that any school
    which is judged ‘satisfactory’ (or performing inconsistently or coasting) twice on the trot
    should be held accountable, given a notice to improve and treated as if it was
    an inadequate school. Is this a step in the right direction?



     
  3. In Wales, Estyn ditched satisfactory 18 months ago
    Replaced with 'adequate'
    hhmmmm....need I say more?
     
  4. R13

    R13 New commenter

    Is it time to start a bring back 'Sound' campaign. before satisfactory that was the term used and it was dropped because it was seen to be too positive!!
     
  5. Maybe we should have one of these grades:
    OK
    alright
    not bad
    pretty good
    no slouch
    safe bet
    it'll do
    cheap and cheerful
    worth considering (a nod to Which? magazine)

     
  6. It will be Requires Improvement and will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 17th Jan)
     
  7. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    The definition on my dictionary app for 'satisfactory' is "satisfactory - meeting requirements"
    Surely 'requires improvement' moves the goalposts somewhat?
    Oh of course it does!! Because THAT'S ALL OFSTED EVER DO.
     
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Ofsted have to keep moving the goalposts, don't they? Otherwise they'd all be out of a job.

     
  9. I just wonder where they are going to find all the inspectors needed to keep on top of these schools?
     
  10. RossOnderbrook

    RossOnderbrook New commenter

    Personally I would ditch all the labels. It's impossible to distil what should be a complex and detailed judgement into one word. And, let's face it, how many people bother to read the content of an inspection report? They just want to know the magic word and then will take the rest for granted. It's not just the schools at the lower end of the spectrum who suffer from this oversimplification. A school labelled 'outstanding' has to face the fact that it will be difficult to repeat next time around. 'Good' then becomes a label of failure.
    Any classification system is a simplification of reality- that's the whole point. However, when the stakes are as high as they are in an Ofsted inspection, the current classification is immensely damaging to schools and sometimes whole communities.
    Why can't an inspection report take the form of a concise narrative that identifies and celebrates the school's strenghths, whilst also identifying the key areas it needs to improve, and its capacity to do so? Of course I know that this won't happen; politicians like their over-simplified world.
    It's probably not worth contemplating this issue for too long because whatever names are dreamt up for the various Ofsted categories, the proportion of schools below the required standard isn't going to change. This is because the criteria for success, as published in the Ofsted Evaluation Schedule, are inextricably linked to national averages: one school climbs out of the ****, another one falls in. [​IMG]

     
  11. I think the plan is, and this comes via new framework inspector training, to put as many non-acadamy schools into category asap so that they can be subsumed by academies, La Gove is very upset that more schools have not transferred. There are expected to be no academies making the trip to new framework category, even though many secondary/middle satisfactory, oops, "needing improvement" schools have made the jump to academy. A move that will make them good!!!!!! Gosh, drinks all round and a big fat pay rise to the head for forcing school improvement!!!!!!!!!
    I shall look forwards to being directed by a satisfactory secondary head very soon.......god help the little childrens with the weakest sector in control.......that sector being Government Minister, of course, ahem!!!!!
     
  12. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Could this be why after initially sacking all their advisors, the LAs near me are all suddenly taking on more advisors, as they realise they are going to be expected to support satisfactory as well as those in categories?
     
  13. Could be,
    a LA close to me has schools going into category like it's a new fashion, they slashed all their advisors 18 months ago and are now screeming for help, which is great, because we're making £££££££'s supporting the poor sods!!!!
    The
     
  14. I did my BEd at the Institute of Education many many years ago, and one strand was Philosophy taught by a wonderful American lady called Dr Nancy Gayer who specialised in Philosophy via Linguistic analysis (e.g. 'Play is a non serious activity, discuss.').
    Now being invited to explore what we mean by what we say has (apart from ruining my life!) made me very sensitive to such issues. I hate words like 'professional', or 'just' (as in 'could you just do x, y or z by tomorrow?'), or 'should' and so on. So the Ofsted categories have always troubled me, and I agree it is more or less dancing on the head of a pin when describing the complexities of education, lessons and schools.
    It is the latest trend, this re-branding stuff, to justify the role of certain people. Another example is the nightmare of 'controlled conditions coursework'. Duh? Like you mean an exam? What is that all about?
    Maybe we could have a word attached to Ofsted, such as 'minging'.
     
  15. Pointless and unnecessary. Pretty much like everything they do!!
     
  16. Astya

    Astya New commenter

    Personally I like "it'll do".
    I always felt "satisfactory" was enough of an insult. Seems ironic when we're always on about being positive with pupils.
    "Requires improvement" is very disheartening, reads to me as "still inadequate, but less inadequate than you could be".
    I don't understand why they changed it. Personally I am always aiming for good and outstanding anyway, so is making satisfactory more insulting supposed to motivate me?
     
  17. I've had an argument with inspectors about this recently. How can an NQT who has taught 2 weeks ever receive such an insulting grade? I much prefer 'developing your craft' for all staff with a way to go yet.
     

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