1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Teacher Q&A will be closing soon.

    If you have any information that you would like to keep or refer to in the future please can you copy and paste the information to a format suitable for you to save or take screen shots of the questions and responses you are interested in.

    Don’t forget you can still use the rest of the forums on theTes Community to post questions and get the advice, help and support you require from your peers for all your teaching needs.

    Dismiss Notice

What do you think of the DfE’s efforts to cut teachers’ workload?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Exactly. Which is why..

  2. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    You better tell Sean Harford that. He seems to think Ofsted can tell schools to stop doing things even if they improve results:

    From TES 31/03/18

    He said: "I think that, because only reading writing and maths are tested at the end of KS2,...I'm not saying they all do it, but there is a strategy of some primary schools that are 'outstanding' to only focus on those three things.

    "It's become something that's game-able."

    He wants inspectors to challenge this type of practice and to reward schools that offer a diverse curriculum.

    He said: "What I want to do is empower our inspectors to say, 'I can see you've got great scores at the end of KS2, but I can equally see that you're not teaching anything in Year 6 other than English and maths.

    "So I'm going to challenge that, because it's not giving kids a broad and balanced curriculum."
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Interesting. I think Ofsted's day's are numbered to be honest. They are the root cause of a lot of our woes, made some horrendous mistakes via grading teaching and their usage of statistics to judge schools was pisspoor. They have changed but they appear to be increasingly unfit for purpose and their politicisation hasn't helped of course. The quote above seems to show their rather flexible approach to what their role is when it suits them and what aspects of a school they see fit to comment on. The EYFS fiasco encapsulates that nicely.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Demonstrating an appropriate curriculum, beyond just English and maths, is already (and has always been) a requirement on schools. He just means that primary schools shouldn't fail to teach pupils other subjects, just because they are not formally assessed and tracked in the same way.

    This is already catered for in the grading criteria of the Inspection Handbook and the publication of a school's (summarised) curriculum is already a DfE requirement.


    The 'broad curriculum' has been a big theme in recent inspections...
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  5. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    However it is a theme that came via a change that Ofsted made itself without a change in mandate which you have repeatedly claimed they can't do.

    In reality "publishing reports of our findings so they can be used to improve the overall quality of education and training" is so broad that it allows a multitude of things as demonstrated by many changes over the years where good practice in one term becomes bad the next.

    So if they wanted to they could follow these steps:

    Declare problem - declining recruitment and retention due to unsustainable working practices - leading to declining quality of workforce in the long term and therefore declining quality of education.
    State response - we will downgrade schools who engage in these practices (and list examples). We will investigate large staff turnover to identify its root causes. We will be particularly concerned if a large number are leaving teaching for good or leaving with no job to go to.

    Ofsted are suppose to be concerned with the quality of the overall system. Therefore practices that endanger the system that only benefit the short term results of individual institutions can be identified as bad and graded accordingly.

    The thing with the bad and balanced curriculum is that few schools teach English and Maths exclusively. Therefore a subjective judgement needs to be made on what proportion is good and what proportion is bad. This subjective judgement can be varied at will and that is what has happened.
    Jamvic and drek like this.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Actually, this change has been gradually made by the local management of primary schools over the last decade - decreasing the volume and quality of teaching of the foundation subjects, in order to focus more squarely on those subjects assessed in SATs. Ofsted don't come in and write the timetables...

    It's about demonstrating, via any applicable means, that the wider curriculum is not being neglected. Of course, what exactly might constitute 'neglected' is subjective, but the handbook does scaffold this decision with the grading criteria statements. Plus, as has been repeatedly covered above, many things in education (and life) are subject to a degree of subjectivity!
  7. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    It would be nice if you responded to what I wrote instead of consistently reinterpreting so you don't have to justify the contradictions in what you write.

    You said Ofsted can't stop schools doing things if results are good without a changed mandate.
    I say they can and give an example where they have, now marking down if not giving a broad curriculum, admitting in the process that they've given outstanding to schools with good results but through a narrow curriculum.
    You tell me I've said Ofsted come in and write timetables.

    I ask direct questions trying to get you to expand on your reasoning but you ignore them. It is very frustrating. You'd rather question my experience instead.
    Jamvic, install and Scintillant like this.
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    This isn't making them change any of their teaching practice, just making sure actually are teaching all the things they've always been required to,

    The delivering of an appropriate curriculum is an important aspect of the overall quality of education a school provides (this being what Ofsted are charged with inspecting and reporting on.)

    Telling schools that they ask their teachers to complete too many administrative activities, is not (directly) related to the overall quality of education a school provides, and as I have already mentioned a few times, is not the current business of Ofsted.

    I do not see the insistence on the provision of an appropriate curriculum being related or comparable to ruling on how school policies impact in employees' 'well-being' or 'work/life balance' etc.
  9. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Not once have I said that they should be looking at impact on employee well being or work life balance. Again you have chosen to misconstrue what I have said.

    I have explicitly said several times that it is the impact on the educational system that they should be looking at. The fact that you said "not (directly) related" suggests that you acknowledge the indirect relationship that exists. Nowhere in Ofsted's mandate does it say that it will only focus on matters that affect education directly. They actually have a history of looking at things that have an indirect impact.

    Another question you'll probably ignore. Why was it okay for Ofsted inspectors to tell SLTs that they were being too supportive of staff (actual quote "Your pastoral system is excellent, your only problem is that you treat your staff in the same way.") but it is now not okay to say that they are not being sufficiently supportive of staff? There is no framework or mandate change that explains why one was okay and the other now not.
  10. Janettap

    Janettap New commenter

    As you rightly point out, the notion that it must be the teacher's fault if a child isn't progressing and of course bad behaviour is the result of uninspiring lessons is totally ridiculous. Not many of my lessons were inspiring but we daren't misbehave or our parents would give us a clout or some such punishment. How many of use went home and told our parents about getting told off at school? None, because our parents supported the teachers.
    Mrsmumbles and drek like this.
  11. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Another non sequitur.

    Ofsted has spent pretty much its entire history basing judgements on ideas with little evidence behind them.

    Remember when teachers couldn’t talk for more than x minutes per lesson? It didn’t matter if their results were good, or that there was no evidence that excessive ‘teacher talk’ was damaging, but lessons were still downgraded.

    There’s far more evidence that schools are struggling to find teachers, and that excessive workload is a major factor.
    drek, Jamvic, woollani and 2 others like this.
  12. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    Posted this elsewhere....relevant here too...
    dfe OFSTEd and senior leadership should communicate better with each other and that communication needs to be very clear and free of veiled threats and accusations towards teachers via the media.
    Any press announcements, sudden changes to accountability policies, exam board grading boundaries, grading systems, marking policies....
    Each body has their own interpretation of all these changes and expect teachers to tie themselves in knots trying to deflect mainly what seems to be accusations at individual level for system wide weaknesses.
    The government claims there are too many exclusions.....what will that mean for us the rest of the year?
    It will mean veiled threats from the leaders in charge of behaviour and pastoral systems regarding number of detentions for unruly students irrespective of the different hours that different teachers teach the worst behaved students for.
    Some teachers transfer their unruly students to other groups and then proceed to advise those teachers on how to teach them in order to collect TLR points.........Utter stupidity.....but keeps on happening as part of one of the worst and demeaning appraisal systems ever devised.
    Jamvic and woollani like this.
  13. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    drek and woollani like this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Ofsted have seem quite happy with the level of exclusions and off-rolling in many schools they have inspected. I can't see why any head should be worried about excluding or off rolling now

    Ofsted's increasing politicisation means they are having to turn too many blind eyes to their favoured MATs and academies that are doing some unethical things.
    drek likes this.
  15. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Basically, OSTED is a joke ‘organisation’ with jobs for the boys and old girlies who scaled education’s increasingly toxic greasy pole and are saving up for their next cruise or roof extension. It has NO pedagogical value whatsoever; rather, it demoralises, bureaucratises, confuses and depresses thousands of teachers into quitting. AND their executive bang on about chances for the kids and making a difference. If the Royal College of GPs, Nurses or Surgeons had to Ben monitored and graded by OFSTED, chaos would reign. They’re an utter joke. Even their acronym sounds very close to ‘ousted’....
    Grandsire and drek like this.
  16. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    Exclusion rates come from the dfe and the way schools panic react is to close down PRU units, withdraw support for behaviour so that individual teacher's are left isolated with groups of more and more aggressive unruly students in challenging schools.
    it's not Ofsted who controls slt response but the threat of funding being reduced by way of 'punishment' that causes this unprofessional behaviour particularly in the last very very long term June onwards. (No break)
    Ofsted then come in to give their overall blessings or not as the case may be and succeed in compounding systematic and endemic problems in the system.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Excluded kids, kicked out teachers, UK eduction is as rosy as death!
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

  19. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    I think one of the problems we as sensible and pragmatic people who want the best for the students is we fall into the trap of imagining that OFSTED etc was put into place to check standards etc in a fair way but also to drive up standards.

    Why as a politician would you want an organisation going around pointing out the flaws in the system from underfunding/societal etc if you can have one that will always moves the blame elsewhere whilst not being directly associated with you?

    I mean what good is havine a QUANGO if they can bring the manure back to you?

    Cynic moi?

    (Sadly, if true, this would mean that we will almost certainly never be rid of an OFSTED like org)
  20. Jolly_Roger12

    Jolly_Roger12 Occasional commenter

    OFSTED came a long at the same time as 'League Tables'. Its purpose was more a consumers'' 'Which School' exercise.

Share This Page