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What would you make of this?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by kstring24, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. I'm probably being paranoid here, so please feel free to set me straight :)

    The school I work in is difficult to say the least, behaviour is a huge problem and I inherited a music department that was non-existent. The old teacher was on the sick for pretty much the whole of last year and much of the two previous years so the kid's attitudes to the subject is quite low. I've had to battle this, the general poor behaviour and the fact that I'm a new member of staff. All round, staff moral is low and performance management observations have given out a lot of inadequates (including me) to undeserving members of staff. A lot of blame is being put on the teaching staff for the poor behaviour and lack of engagement, when the fact is that a lot of these kids don't want to be engaged. We do our best, but we all feel quite low, and personally, I feel like a rubbish teacher. At the moment, I'm in constant fear I'll lose my job.

    SMT do recognise the difficulties and things are being put in place to help and support me. I'm part of a performing arts department, which another teacher and we work closely together. We found out yesterday that Ofsted will be in next week and annoyingly several big decisions are being made now that should have been done weeks ago (putting the worst kids of FTEX for example). I was approached by the deputy principle at the end of the day today and told that they would highlight me to the inspectors and recommend that they do their best to avoid watching my lessons. I was told that this was relieve stress on me, especially as I'm still not completely in control of some of my classes. Part of me is happy about this, I had an excellent NQT year with an outstanding school, and right now my confidence is rock bottom, but another part would welcome feedback and a chance to prove myself.

    What is going around in my head now though, is whether the school are doing this for personal gain. I've seen stories about certain things/pupils/staff being hidden in schools during an inspection so the school doesn't look like it's full of bad teachers. When you group this with the sudden splurge of expulsions I feel like they are cutting me out a little for their own benefit. I did tell the deputy that I won't mind being observed, and I even said that I'd like them to see the department, even if just to visit. She didn't seem to acknowledge my thoughts, but this might be me misreading the signals.

    Am I being too over the top with this? I know I should appreciate the gesture, but it's bad enough I feel like I'm **** at my job, I really don't want the school to think this too.
  2. I actually think the school has your best interests in mind by asking the inspection team to avoid seeing you. This probably isn't a question of the school hiding you to make the school look good. It's virtually impossible to hide anything from inspectors without them smelling a rat, so very few schools try it on these days. A lead inspector will usually ask a head which staff are best to avoid and they will need to come up with good reasons for naming teachers.
    It sounds like the school are well aware of the stress you are under and the attitude of pupils to music given what has happened in the recent past in the school. If pupils do have a poor experience of music, they will treat it as a 'doss subject' until you manage to change attitudes that it is a fun, and serious subject. This takes time and the SLT at the school probably know it, which is why they will be asking the inspection team to avoid seeing you.
    Stick with it and best of luck.

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