Thursday 9 February 2012

The new head of Ofsted shares his most recent ideas.

"In my new post as Educational Commander-in-chief with brass buttons on, I am sounding a warning to anyone who thinks that 'good' is good enough. It's not. Good is not good. And the trouble today with teachers is that they think that work is just one big holiday. It isn't even a small holiday. That's told them.

And another thing. Schools. I'm bringing in a new policy: it's called 'we're not good enough'. At the beginning of every day I want teachers to get in a ring in the staff room and chant 'We're not good enough'. There are far too many teachers who think that they're good. They're not. That's my message and I should know. I turned a school around. It used to be bad. Now it's good. Not 'good' in the new sense. Which means 'not good'. But in the old sense when good meant good. Parents know what I'm talking about and they like it. Hello all parents. You like me, don't you?

I'm talking so please stand up when I'm talking. Teaching and learning. That's what we have to do. And there's not enough of it. People keep making excuses. They say, 'The dog ate my teacher so what's the point?' There - that's the excuse culture.

And another thing. Some headteachers are good. That's the very new good. Not like the other good which wasn't good. Well if these big-headed good headteachers think they're so hard, then they can go into some really bad schools - which is actually most schools - get in there and start making these bad schools, good in the new sense, meaning good. Not bad.

Some people say to me that if these good heads are spending all their time away from their good schools, trying to make bad schools good, won't the good schools they came from originally start to be less good?

Wrong. Stand up when you're listening to me.

And another thing: structure. Structure is important because the children we teach don't have structure. They don't even know how to do anything till they get to my school. We show them how to stand up. Then they know.

We're dealing with entrenched attitudes here. Not any more. Not now I'm here. Do you remember Chris Woodhead? Sissy. He's not hard like me. If there was a teacher in here now, I'd put him between my finger and thumb and snap him in two. Then you'd see something, I can tell you.

Right, Samantha will take you round my schoo - oh she's not at the school anymore. Complicated story but we felt that it would better suit her temperament   if she wasn't here anymore. This has absolutely nothing to do with test and exam scores. "