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Ofsted to scrutinise schools for breadth of curriculum

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter


    Chief inspector Amanda Spielman says that schools should not simply train pupils to answer exam questions

    Ofsted has warned schools that it will be tightening its focus on the curriculum.

    In a speech this week, chief inspector Amanda Spielman told schools not to overlook the importance of a balanced curriculum in their efforts to achieve high exam results.

    “Important as exam results are, we must not allow curriculums to be driven just by GCSEs and A levels, or by what students believe will help them get the highest grades,” she said.

    “It is the substance of education that ultimately creates and changes life chances, not grade stickers from exams. What you study matters, not just the grade points.

    “So I am determined to make sure that the curriculum gets the proper attention it deserves.”

    Ms Spielman revealed that Ofsted's review of the curriculum in schools and colleges had already raised "a lot of interesting questions".

    Does anyone, like me, feel a sense of despair reading this?
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  2. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    Well, if it wasn't Ofsted doing the focus, I think this would be a positive step. I do not want my children going through an education system where schools - and therefore teachers - and therefore students - are measured purely by narrow-focussed league tables.
    However given Ofsted and the Conservative Government's track record of creating high stakes hoops which must be jumped through at the cost of anything else that doesn't involve a hoop I expect this will result in more unintended negative consequences.
  3. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    It sounds a positive move - particularly if it also applies to primary schools, especially Y6.
    galerider123 and guinnesspuss like this.
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Sounds like a marvellous step. Except...

    Why do ofsted think we only teach to the test? Why is it, in year 6, the children do almost exclusively maths and English. Is it because the teachers love maths and English and hate all other subjects? Or is it, because during ofsted inspections, the primary focus is the maths and English data, and progress in maths and English? No one ever went in to a category based on lack of progress in art...

    Great idea; unless they take the focus off maths and English at KS2 and exam results at ks4/5 it won't work. We will just end up with burnt out teachers and children.
    nomad, Whiskas, Jesmond12 and 5 others like this.
  5. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Oh, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda....you poor, sad, stupid woman.

    In my school's recent Ofsted inspection, two heads of department were interviewed at length: me (HoD English) and my colleague who's HoD Maths. We were interviewed - separately - for 45 minutes each. Our report mentions the two subjects, results, data, tracking, leadership etc. almost exclusively. Other subjects are mentioned only briefly in either a positive or negative way. We live and die on English and Maths results, with the other subjects' results, Attainment 8 and Progress 8 either prompting an Ofsted visit and essentially deciding the careers of the Headteacher, SLT and the HoDs of the core subjects.

    So until the system is changed so that we are judged on something other than pure exam results and our very careers don't depend on those results, she can just shut up.
  6. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

  7. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    if only they can get this across, at least at primary level. I am so thankful that I am not a child now, the seventies families might have had less money but at least at school we got a rounded education rather than an exam factory. I remember junior school being the best time, so fr removed from the current pressure on Year 6 that it is hard to believe how we allowed this to happen.
  8. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I've said it many times before:
    - teaching Y6 used to be the cherry on top of the delicious primary cake;
    - now it's the poisoned chalice for both staff and children.
    nomad, Whiskas and Shedman like this.
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    dear secretsiren,
    I could not agree with you more.

    Talk is cheap. Soundbites costs nothing.

    I await with bated breath the first OFSTED report which criticises a school for teaching to the test. I also eagerly await the first OFSTED report which criticises a school for ridiculous marking policy or bullying staff into cheating on coursework or for using ECDL to boost progress 8 figures or for having excellent exam results and massive staff turnover.

    Anyway, I am out of it.
  10. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Unless you get the national lead for History as your inspector!

    However I could not agree more with what you have said. I am fed up with the uttering some of these people who have absolutely no idea what is going on.
    nomad and Tinycat1234 like this.
  11. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    Shedman if I'm feeling happy about teaching I deliberately go to the dfe or OFSTED websites.
    their latest announcements and data analysis nonsense about teaching and learning or trashing and lashing as I like to call it soon brings me down to earth again.
    nomad and Tinycat1234 like this.
  12. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Breadth of school provision is narrowing due to reductions in school funding. Pulpit like pronouncements and inquisitions by OFSTED show how out of touch they really are.

    This reminds me of the Witchfinder General. If you sink, you drown. If you float you're hanged.

    Warning. B movie acting and violence!

  13. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Precisely the reason for my despair - Ofsted has driven education into the results straightjacket and now they're going to punish schools for doing just that.
  14. MonMothma

    MonMothma Lead commenter

    So...OFSTED expect a broad and balance curriculum but still punish you if your results aren't up to scratch within a tightly defined list of subjects?
    emerald52 likes this.
  15. MonMothma

    MonMothma Lead commenter

    Should have gone for:

    Yoda- likes this.
  16. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Every silver lining......
  17. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    We've already seen the effects of their previous screwtinising on teacher workload pay and conditions.

    Enrichment was supposed to be exposing the students to external resources and forging links with local creative and business enterprises.

    That funding disappeared into a deputy or some such person coming up with a spreadsheet which all teachers had to turn their hobbies into a one hour activity session for students either within the school day or worse as a tagged on session after school every week.
    Once again this appeals to teachers with lots of TLR frees for meetings and anything else they can make up that doesn't involve direct instruction of disruptive mixed ability groups, whilst burdening those teaching all day every day with very little energy to pursue their own hobbies let alone anything else at home!
    I wait with baited breadth for their judgments........
    Once again they will come up with ideas that overstretch those who put in the most teaching contact hours whilst the same ideas will financially benefit those chasing leadership points. They can get a couple more free lessons for writing out a long report about evidence for 'their' initiatives and producing yet another spreadsheet which others have to waste time populating all year.
  18. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Established commenter

    Like x 20
  19. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Established commenter

    Ah, there it is again EDCL!! And yes it was spoken of as something to boost points! What a load of carp.
  20. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Established commenter

    At last Amanda speaks. Oh dear, it's out of her bottom!:mad:

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