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Teachers give their views about Ofsted’s new inspections

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Ofsted’s new framework for inspections was introduced at the beginning of the academic year, but some of the feedback from teachers, who have experienced the more rigorous visits, has been less than favourable about the process:

    ‘Ofsted’s new curriculum focused inspections have been described as “brutal” “intense” and “more rigorous” by some of the first teachers to experience them.

    One teacher told Tes she had written to Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman complaining that her school's inspection was "aggressive and soul destroying" and could drive committed teachers out of the profession.’


    What are your views about the initial verdict on the new inspection process?
  2. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    My view is that we should save money and get rid of this garbage that is OFSTED.
    I would love to see them do the Teaching full time and show everyone how it is done.
    thekillers1, Jamvic, install and 4 others like this.
  3. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    I would add.....doing a time table with 100 percent teaching time.... and in particular groups with the majority of SeND and behaviour issues.
    In a school with very little support for eirher behaviour or SEND ...... a sink school where others send theirs to.......with a majority of nqts and lack of experience amongst leadership.....
    Heh heh heh....They wouldnt last 4 weeks.
    They would fail on the sword of heir own wishful imaginative expectations.
    install and tenpast7 like this.
  4. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Everything in education is a cycle. When I started teaching, in the late 90s, OfSTED would ensure that the whole of the ICT programme of study was covered at KS4, even for students doing ICT-type qualifications.

    I remember schools being criticised for delivering, for example, Business and Communications Systems and no other ICT lessons, because BCS didn't include the control and monitoring elements of the NC.

    Twenty years later, schools think that they don't need to teach Computing at all.
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Academies can teach what they like. Another good reason to have a NC.
  6. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I know that academies have "flexibility" with regards to the curriculum, but does OfSTED question their choices if they choose not to offer compulsory NC subjects (e.g. Computing)? Presumably they'd have something to say if it was Maths or English.
  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    My experience is that lack of any computing at an academy is ignored by OFSTED.
    thekillers1 likes this.
  8. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    You cannot polish a turd.

    OFSTED needs to die

    I cannot say this enough.
  9. nanniedeb

    nanniedeb New commenter

    I have complete distrust of OFSTED, HMI and academies! I've seen plenty of corrupt behaviour from them all since Mr Gove said he wanted all schools to be academies by 2015.
    Catgirl1964 and install like this.
  10. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Even if that were not true (and it is true), the brand has become so toxic, so tainted that, like a marriage on the rocks, the relationship between Ofsted and teachers has suffered an irretrievable breakdown.
    guinnesspuss and Jamvic like this.
  11. harpplayer

    harpplayer Occasional commenter

    Some subjects have only themselves to blame. I may be wrong, but didn’t Computing have a ridiculous coursework element worth about a fifth of the GCSE, where students and teachers had to basically promise not to consult on the Internet for six months, and for years exam authorities were saying it’s a great way to assess? It doesn’t fill a Head teacher or anyone else with any confidence when a qualification is designed like this by exam authorities! Computing is also always at the top of the list as regards hardness, both perceived and number of top grades given. It also clearly does not cater for weak pupils, but these weaknesses - why are they not addressed because the criticisms have certainly been there since I started teaching eight years ago.

    Teachers are in short supply to teach some subjects, and Computing is one of them. It really isn’t a subject for schools because the subject is so poorly designed and managed by idiots. Who advises the course designers because they must be idiots as well, or more likely, all Public Schoolboys. I’m sure you’ll agree. For OFSTED to ignore the subject completely is only right. They are giving it the attention it deserves and clearly and rightly encouraging it to be removed from schools as a subject.
  12. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    So computing becomes a subject only studied by rich kids in private schools? Seriously?
  13. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    1. That argument doesn't apply to KS3.

    2. You don't have to do the GCSE, so it doesn't have to apply to KS4 - the iGCSE didn't have a coursework element, for example.

    3. Your description of the coursework situation no longer applies.

    Also, lack of Computing lessons was probably at least partly to blame for that problem in the first place - if Computing was properly delivered at KS3, then the students would be able to complete the task without needing to look up a solution on the internet. Those tasks are pretty trivial for a competent programmer.
  14. harpplayer

    harpplayer Occasional commenter

    "3. Your description of the coursework situation no longer applies."

    I've just looked this up and you right. It has been replaced by an equally and even sillier system. Now GCSE pupils have to do an exercise that everyone pretends is worth doing, is actually worth nothing towards the qualification, but has to be done with teachers providing evidence that everyone spent at least 20 hours on it. I have seen on various Facebook forums that many teachers just go through the motions to get the blasted things done and the boxes ticked in a way that looks plausible, in the minimum amount of time. One was offering advice on the use of customisable templates with customisable advice and another the way they ensure coursework is set at the same time as doing a proper lesson as the extension in the lesson, thereby ticking off the 20 hours slowly but surely.

    Have the people in charge of Computer Science GCSE gone totally mad? Have they got Brexititus?

    And also, how can Computer Science be properly delivered in KS3? There aren't enough Computer Science teachers for the GCSE let alone further down the key stages! It would be far better surely to let the subject be only taught in schools which have the facilities and properly trained teachers, either in private schools or at universities. Everyone else should just do an office studies type GCSE, so they know how to use Word and PowerPoint in other subjects.
  15. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Ah, back to the "only rich kids in private schools get to do computing" thing.

    Do you know what the digital divide is?
  16. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    That's a very modern view in a world in which all schools seem to be obsessed with teaching to the test.

    It isn't worth nothing towards the qualification because one of the written papers is largely about programming and algorithms, so the NEA is good practice of their programming skills and algorithmic thinking. Any teacher that goes through the motions is failing the students.

    In fact, I'd go as far to say that the new procedure is actually an improvement. "Control" has been reduced (for most boards), which means that students are able to discuss their solutions and the coursework is a better learning experience than it ever was. Previously a student who couldn't see how to program the solution just twiddled their thumbs for 20 hours - or they (and probably the teacher) cheated.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    Many in Ofsted are overpaid Critics who have not taught for a very long time. The head of Ofsted has never taught a single lesson! She went to a private Boarding school among classes of only 12.

    Ofsted is the elephant room - it needs to go.
    Sally006 and afterdark like this.
  18. harpplayer

    harpplayer Occasional commenter

    I don’t teach this subject but I did code in my job (controls engineer) and use it currently for some fun units when teaching Maths and Physics. If someone who looks at a gcse Computing syllabus can spot within a minute or two why it has been badly designed and isn’t fit for purpose for children then so can OFSTED. It might explain their reluctance to be seen promoting it!

    The coursework is obviously really badly designed. Selling ‘going to China’ because it might benefit you ‘going to Peru’ is a hard sell to teenagers. Surely, just teach programming and algorithms (more important I would have thought) but then test it directly, in an exam or by doing what Art does and have a test lasting a day. Forcing teachers to justify 20 hours on some random project everyone resents doing rather than just trusting them to do what they need to do to work towards an exam is counter-productive.

    Why do I read most schools still seem to be teaching Python? I’ve learnt Python and there is no way that it marries up to the gcse syllabus I looked at, which seem to be designed for far more traditional languages like BASIC? Python is fine even if you are teaching algorithms rather than coding, but it’s oddness isn’t suitable to meet the specific aims of bits of the syllabus. You’ll just end up losing the weaker students.

    I can see why this syllabus is so hard. There is so much in it, and lots of topics do not easily flow from ks3 (which looks vague by the way) Didn’t anyone check you can teach it in the time, or whether the topics were too difficult for a 14 year old? Maybe cover some topics in ks3 but that won’t help as we’ve already said, there aren’t enough quality teachers. Many gcse topics seriously belong in A Level.

    OFSTED clearly are helping to move the subject to the graveyard. Computing already has a bad reputation, and even the 60 or 70 thousand still taking a gcse is far from the dizzy heights of ICT. I can see many schools with financial concerns looking long and hard at the tens of thousands spent yearly on Computing on equipment, maintenance, support staff, software licences, rooms with air con and more, adding it to OFSTED’s disinterest in the subject, the clearly badly designed syllabus and pressure to find more time for other more important subjects, and making a decision to just stop teaching it.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  19. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    We seem to be going off on a Computing tangent, but I think it's worth challenging the following points.
    What qualifies you to make that assessment? What do you think the purpose is?
    I disagree - the content is very similar to the KS3 curriculum. If you fully cover the higher bullet points, then there's little that's new for GCSE.
    This is where I'd agree with you. There are things on the theory specifications - arrays, constants and passing values by value/reference off the top of my head - that can't be done in Python. I also think that the way Python does "for" loops is a barrier to weaker students getting started.
  20. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Not to mention the lack of proper data types

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