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Slammed by OFSTED

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Welshcharlie, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Welshcharlie

    Welshcharlie New commenter

    Very angry core subject HOD having a rant.
    The school has just failed every bit of the Ofsted (big surprise not!).
    The report slammed my department totally. I know not everything was perfect but the inspectors didn't even see us teach!!! The SMT had the daft Idea of taking our worst groups on 'educational day trips' to wherever! The Inspectors came in when our difficult groups were off out. Books were looked at and progress levels etc..... Humiliating questions asked of my teachers and TA's and the inspectors were rude to my colleagues. Idiot SMT person didn't back us up or warn us. OFSTED never returned to see us teach an actual class.
    Our progress levels have never been criticised by SMT . Our marking had been held up as 'outstanding' by the DHT and as far as we knew everything in that area was on track. We do have behaviour and absentee problems as do all depts except one. The SMT won't back us up on missing lessons or behaviour problems.

    Our paper work is totally reflective of what is going on and I am proud that my staff answered questions honestly. We don't cheat, we don't fiddle levels or falsify results or brush problems under the carpet!

    Despite all the problems we face we still get the best subject results in the school bar one very small option group.

    The HT had the audacity to have a go at our dept in the post report staff meeting. I did remind her exactly what went on and where her policies fell down, so she shut up.

    I am really p---- off with OFSTED, is there anything I can do to point out that the way the inspection was done was at fault too. Can OFSTED be taken to task?
  2. drek

    drek Star commenter

    In short the answer is No.
    They are above the law it seems.
    Welshcharlie likes this.
  3. Bajan-night

    Bajan-night Occasional commenter

  4. drek

    drek Star commenter

    If you want to complain about the way the inspection was run, you have to complain to them about themselves.

    Since that system was implemented, inspections real or fake have been getting more and more tyrannical.

    Similar to ACAS which supports employers, it has a section for employees, about grievances where it advises employees to sort out any unfairness or discrimination by the employer by writing a letter the employer, or school board, via the school's HR.

    21st century justice is every man for himself. It is certainly not for the man on the street!

    It is what the majority of heads and teachers are quite happy with as they put up and even actively promote blind obedience in schools.
    mark6243 and bostonbill1982 like this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Welshcharlie and petenewton like this.
  6. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    It sounds as though it's not really you and your team that have problems in conducting the dept effectively but rather that those people higher up haven't been monitoring and guiding effectively. I can sympathise as I ran the dept I was HoD of to the letter of SMTs expectations but ofsted didn't like what we, all depts, were asked to do so we all got lower grades than the self assessed grades. Thankfully ofsted did recognise many positive aspects but it still made us all feel awful.

    Does the ofsted report make any mention of how school wide initiatives impact on the HoDs ability to be effective?
    Welshcharlie likes this.
  7. George_Randle

    George_Randle Senior commenter

    In our current state of education, no good deed goes unpunished.
    Welshcharlie, mark6243 and drek like this.
  8. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Report these inspectors. Even if your school and/or department is up the swanny, they have no right to be rude.

    Unfortunately, in a school failing overall, the criticisms will be numerous and sometimes unfair ie. your department. Your school needs to work as a team to put everything right rather than pit departments and teams against one another.
    Welshcharlie likes this.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Ofsted are not fit for purpose.

    I don't take any notice of what they say.

    They don't get invloved in the widespread cheating, they ignore the fixing of levels, they ignore the divisive and widely misapplied use of data-based targets in Performance-related Pay, they are not concerened with high turnovers of staff, and the large number of people rushed through capability doesn't exercise them either, They are utterly hopeless.

    I can't tell you my funniest experience with an Ofsted inspector, but the second was when an inspector and two members of SLT watched a lesson in our school - and then came up with three different grades. The other observations without independent observers were of course allowed to stand... so were wholly subjective.

    During the governor training sessions I attended, I repeatedly asked to what extent the results of Ofsted inspections (and other Ofsted-driven assessment schemes) were reproducible. In other words, if we repeated the inspection with a different set of inspectors, would we get the same result? If not, in what sense could Ofsted claim that the results of an inspection were objective and robust? As you might perhaps expect, I singularly failed to get a particularly compelling response to this question. This was for a very good reason: the results of Ofsted inspections are entirely irreproducible. A headline from the Telegraph in March this year said it all: Ofsted inspections: You’d be better off flipping a coin. This was not simply media spin. The think-tank report, “Watching the Watchmen”, on which the article was based, actually goes further: “In fact, overall the results are worse than flipping a coin”.

    Welshcharlie likes this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry to hear this.
    Welshcharlie likes this.
  11. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    A few years ago (when 48 hours notice was de rigueur) I was observed by a single inspector. Having been briefed by our SLT that inspectors would require lessons plans I duly left out maths and English plans to cover all bases. At the start of the maths lesson the inspector arrived, sat in the designated seat, picked up a lesson plan and started making notes. Half way through the observation she came over and said 'Could I see the maths lesson plan because the objective on the whiteboard doesn't match the one on your plan'. She had picked up the plan clearly marked 'English Lesson Year X' and had not realised she was observing a maths lesson until 15 minutes of the lesson had elapsed.

    That particular inspector also gave 'my' feedback to a colleague in the year above, who had been observed teaching science. It wasn't until the inspector mentioned the children's use of Dienes blocks in the lesson that my colleague realised the mix up.
    Welshcharlie likes this.
  12. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    Sounds like you're a LA school that hasn't yet become an academy. It now will.

    I'm afraid you'll be working twelve-hour days for the foreseeable future producing reports, updating spreadsheets and ticking boxes, or worse if someone needs to be thrown under the bus.

    Time to look for a new job perhaps...

    Welshcharlie and InkyP like this.
  13. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    The problem is that all the stuff SLT and Ofsted get you to do as the "right thing" doesn't work and they can't admit that.

    If they had observed lessons and those lessons ticked every box and were good or outstanding, they would have given themselves a problem - you did as we said and it didn't work. The grade is based on results primarily with also some input from results and results.

    My school had a problem in that teachers were delivering lessons at the right level (i.e all the tick-box blox) but the results weren't what they should be. It was declared that teachers were just putting on a show for observations (subtext - cheats, liars) and weren't doing that all the time. So we were told that "triangulation" was to occur to judge a teacher, lesson obvs, marking and results. Lesson obvs had been "shown" to not deliver the goods (despite the fact they followed all of the instructed criteria), marking is a god stick to beat teachers with, how SLT's across the land seem to be relishing the easy and straightforward evidence and solutions it provides (mark more, write more, more colours - ooh look at me doing my job in a robust and rigorous manner) and then there is results which is what is really used.

    We've had years of being told what to do and done it (differently every year), it didn't work for every kid in every school - shock! must be the teachers fault. Marking - a good whip to crack, teach 'em who's boss, even if it makes no difference we've had our pound of flesh from them, overpaid, gin-swilling barstewards on all those holidays.

    Now we seem to be in a position where if you do what you are told to the letter and it still doesn't work, then you're not good enough, maybe (worst case scenario) you're not able to be "managed", there's the door, don't let it hit you on the way out.

    The problem of kids not achieving the prescribed levels in a prescribed set of subjects at the prescribed rate cannot be addressed by more management diktats and definitely not by more Ofsted. There's a lot of careers been built (and academy chains being assembled) on the false hope that it can however. I can't help feeling that the powers that be are slowly painting themselves into a corner, fortunately for me I am now on the side-lines observing. Knowing any of this doesn't help those who have little choice but to be in the firing line.
  14. Welshcharlie

    Welshcharlie New commenter

    Thank you to everyone who replied.
    I'm lucky that I can retire at the end of the academic year. It won't be a problem if I get the sack so ****it I'm going to have it out with OFSTED. Nobody treats my colleagues like that!!! The staff in my dept are class,it's not their fault that the SMT won't back them in sorting out discipline and attendance. OFSTED can't make judgments when they've never seen us teach or looked at our GCSE results! Well they can but they are going to know about!!
  15. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

  16. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Mangleworzle has explained what it feels like to be a teacher perfectly. I can see myself leaving soon. Before the troubles start. They are expecting Ofsted 'anytime now'. The experienced guard (qualified UPS) have left or been pushed out. The newly crowned are realizing what it really is all about.
    They are panicking, shouting orders, hoping that gives them more control. But only succeeding in making everyone feel worse and looking a bit silly and foolish in the bargain.
    What's the shouting about? 'I don't know what I want. but I want it NOW' You better give it to me or else'
    They will make future outstanding heads in no time!
    Particularly of teachers from countries where fhey are used to having no rights, and speak a minimal amount of English. And sixth former apprentices I imagine. Recruitment solutions of the future eh?
  17. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I work in an LA school... you just described conditions here. I don't think LA schools are the 'paradise' you think... sadly. Certainly mine has embraced the Academy method wholeheartedly.
    drek likes this.
  18. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I assumed Mark meant that the inspection result was RI so that the school has to become an academy.
    The quality of the schooling was irrelevant.
    mark6243 likes this.
  19. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

  20. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Possibly... the second paragraph suggested that Academisation led to the things listed. Which we already do in our LA school.

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