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Quality of planning to be RAG rated

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by BigFrizz, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. BigFrizz

    BigFrizz New commenter

    We are now expected to produce in advance MTP’s which set out what we are delivering each lesson as a 5 part lesson structure (very much a series of STPs)
    An updated teaching and learning booklet has been sent out which states that the quality of the planning will be assessed and RAG rated.
    I’ve emailed the T&L bod at my setting to say that I was concerned that we were having to produce these which goes against union guidance and that we were going to be judged on them.
    On Friday I was told that I would be having a meeting with them and the Headteacher to discuss.
    I don’t work in a particularly innovative/current practices school and wondered if this is the new normal and I should just get my head down and get on with it?
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Ouch. This will do your time management in.
    How much back up will you get from your union rep and other members in the school?
    The devil's in the detail. How much can you shoe-horn your planning into this format without too much effort?
    I would suggest asking what's wrong with your current planning, and why every plan needs to be submitted in advance.
    Good luck.
    Might be worth polishing the CV.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  3. slstrong123

    slstrong123 New commenter

    Sorry no idea what you have been asked to do, are you in primary? I am in secondary and my plans are say 5 short sentences max handwritten in my teachers planner.
    tall tales and agathamorse like this.
  4. Fleecyblanket

    Fleecyblanket New commenter

    What is the point of having your planning RAG rated? Who actually has the time to do that?
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and Pomza like this.
  5. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I agree with @phlogiston! Potentially, this is a tsunami of bullshite, which will tick boxes for the SMT, have no positive impact on students' learning but involve you in hours of pointless paperwork.
    tall tales, drek, ATfan and 5 others like this.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    There is no point.

    The quality of the planning can only be established by determining the quality of the lessons.

    And the quality of lessons (unless they are totally awful) can only really be established by assessing the quality of outcomes, over a reasonable time period.

    All total and utter nonsense. Can’t believe school leaders still waste their time on this kind of stuff...

    (Also, who ever has time to ‘check’ and ‘rate’ the detailed and lengthy planning of other teachers is obviously in great need of some proper work to be getting on with...)
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I agree! This sounds like micro-managing the process, rather than the outcome. The only beneficiaries of all this will be the inflated management structure, which will have 'something to do'.
  8. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Anything which is RAG graded is just rubbish.
    This is one of the reasons why I left teaching.
    I was only interested in teaching - not RAGs.
  9. BigFrizz

    BigFrizz New commenter

    It’s a small Secondary AP setting, my results are good, observations are mixed which is sometimes down to me and sometimes down to the mood of the cohort on the day but overall usually ‘Good’.
    I know that it’s a waste of time and the person responsible already has a very heavy workload but I guess my question is really is this normal practice or is it something which I have an actual basis to challenge?
    drek and agathamorse like this.
  10. Eflmeister

    Eflmeister Occasional commenter

    It’s absolute nonsense. Even with all the other sh*tstorm of work at my old place (before I abandoned the UK) we never had our planning RAG rated. All the teachers’ plans were, as described by others, a few handwritten sentences in the small box for that period in a teacher planner. The fact that commercial planners only have such a small box per period should suggest to your SLT that maybe this level of detail and scrutiny isn’t required. The result is the proof of quality, not the written plan - you aren’t trying to build a football stadium where maybe detailed plans just might be needed to make sure the end result won’t fall down!
  11. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    What a complete waste of time!

    The most effective method of planning is the one that you, the teacher, chooses to use to support you in delivering the best lessons you can. Some very inexperienced teachers may feel the need to produce quite detailed plans. Other more confident, competent teachers will be able to teach very good lessons using brief planning notes.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Exactly! LPs are one thing, 'lesson scripts' are another! Very detailed LPs can leave you open to unjustified criticism during LOs, such as not 'anticipating' students' questions, or running a few seconds over time.
    lardylegs and agathamorse like this.
  13. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    It's an absolute waste of time. I don't know if you can stop your SLT doing it, though. Hideously old-fashioned - OFSTED don't ask for written plans.
    Plans can look great on paper but won't necessarily translate into great lessons or great pupil progress. Your SLT are ultimately accountable for pupil progress and that is what they should be worrying about.
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    The 'accretion effect' in action. Ideas of 'what OFSTED wants to see' have been piled on over the years, but outdated ones are never discarded. This sounds like a panicky SMT thinking it can hoodwink Ofsted with ring binders full of bumph.
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I don't know how any school leader could still labour under the illusion that inspectors want to see lessons plans or care which format they appear in.

    Ofsted have repeatedly published materials which make it explicitly clear this is not what they are interested in.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Quite so, @Pomza but the message has not got through to some SMTs, hence the accretion effect, like barnacles accumulating on the bottom of a ship, relentlessly requiring more effort to keep it going.

    There is also the 'Shredded Wheat Effect'. 'if one is wonderful, two will be terrific, so OFSTED will really be impressed with three'. A sort of 'never mind the quality, feel the width' approach.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I say...
  18. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Funnily enough, my new line manager said the same thing in different words. He said that there's a difference between a lesson plan which shows what is expected to happen and what actually does while he is observing which is why he judges the lesson on these sources of information and a folder check.

    As for a RAG Lesson Plan system, let's just say that the people who suggest these half baked ideas need to look at their own practice before nitpicking everyone else's. During this meeting, I would sweetly ask to see the T&L bod's outstanding G lesson plans so that you know how to give him/her and the HT what they ask then mentally LOL when they say that they can't show you one! :)
    lardylegs, Pomza and agathamorse like this.
  19. Ezioclone

    Ezioclone New commenter

    Contrary to what some others have said, there are good (from SLT's perspective) reasons why this might be asked, and it's worth understanding these (*especially* if you want to effectively counter them)

    1. [Being generous to SLT] Perhaps it's part of a legitimate and admirable wider investigation into what it is that 'limits' the quality of lessons in your school. Is it teachers' delivery of their plans, their planning for the lessons, or the attitude/behaviour of the students in the lessons, or etc. etc. If that's the case, you would fully expect this be a short-term initiative, and with some degree of goodwill on both sides it might be worthwhile. [For example, if the result was that 'better lesson planning' significantly improved learning within lessons, then perhaps SLT would commit themselves to giving you more 'joint planning time' and reduce their demands on 'teacher marking'. That would be jointly beneficial to everyone?]

    2. [Being cynical about SLT] It could be seen as just another exercise to 'normalise' their relentless set of instructions / directives / non-negotiables; most of which go against national agreements made with the unions (but then most Academy heads behave as if they are well beyond the jurisdiction of any such agreements). From my experience (Secondary and Primary) many members of SLT actively want dis-empowered, submissive members of staff, and routinely introducing such initiatives is a powerful way in which to achieve this, and shows them to be 'managerially proactive' whilst at the same time creating no difficult work for themselves whatsoever.

    I'd approach this with a truly open, but not an empty or naïve mind. And definitely seek advice/support from the Unions asap.

    Good luck.
    phlogiston likes this.
  20. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Your post gave me food for thought. However, I have never heard of RAG assessment of lesson planning before and I have taught in many colleges and schools (I hope that I never will in my work place), so I still have the cynical view that it's another attempt to impress from a leader who wants to look good but is taking advice from someone who is spouting hogwash. Is the T&L bod someone famous? If not, I would question how much of a 'bod' this person really is.
    agathamorse likes this.

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