Tuesday 3 December 2013

How Ofsted inspections lead to crazy stuff


  • RClayton Barrby
    So where is it recorded that OFSTED has been instructed in this particular respect. Do you seriously suggest that this is all done by nods and winks ?

  • Quaestor RClayton
    I've never heard Gove, Wilshaw, or anyone connected with the government or Ofsted, or with any school of thought connected with learning to read, say that teachers should not read stories to children.
    Except, when I think of it, there was just one, in my first year of teaching, who said she couldn't see the point of my doing so with first year secondary pupils first thing in the morning. This person was not of the Conservative persuasion.

  • Nottmposh Quaestor
    Having just completed the Ofsted training, I would disagree with you here. I went out to do my mentored inspection and asked the lead inspector how, when observing a KS1 teacher in the last 30 minutes of the first day, I would judge teaching if the teacher was simply reading to her class. She replied that if the teacher insisted on doing this then she would be foolish because it would be very difficult under the criteria to judge it as anything other than inadequate. Therefore the advice was passed to the leadership team to advise the teacher to do something where the inspectors could judge progress.
    This is what I suspect is behind Mr Rosen's emails. I cannot conceive of a single inspector who would actually believe sharing books with KS1 children is a waste of time, but the current inspection process is forcing schools to do strange things to ensure that the 20-30 mins an inspector is in can be judged.

  • Quaestor Nottmposh
    This is rank bad guidance from the lead inspector and shows a limitation in Ofsted's current practice. A teacher who did nothing but this would obviously be taking an unbalanced view, and inspection ought to be able to get to the whole picture.
    Changes to inspection in 2005 cut down the time available for observation to the extent that other lead inspectors I've spoken to have said similar things, though not in this context. There is a lot more to do to put this right. However, I'm not going to try to defend "teaching to the inspection", as that is precisely what teachers have been told not to do, since Ofsted started.

  • Quaestor Quaestor
    Oh, for an edit button. I meant that a teacher who did nothing but read to the children would obviously have an unbalanced approach, but that Ofsted should be able to go beyond an individual lesson to establish the whole picture of the teacher's work. This should include hearing a sample of children read, and I believe it still does.