I popped in to a local primary school this afternoon to deliver leaflets and letters promoting a forthcoming computer software fair we are going to hold there next week. The headteacher, a very pleasant man, mentioned that the school would be having an OFSTED inspection in January and detailed all the paperwork which had already been requested. I mentioned a neighbouring school which I knew had recently been inspected, one of the first to be on the receiving end of the new, so-called 'light touch' inspections, the object of which is to be more user-friendly to the schools and be less disruptive to the daily routine.
"Oh, yes," said the Head, "I was talking to the Head there the other day. He said he was grilled in depth for 15 hours altogether."
Bearing in mind that a new-style inspection in a small primary school, such as we were talking about, would last only 2-3 days, that means the 'grilling' would have lasted about 5 hours each day, and that's before they started on the co-ordinators, deputy, support staff, lesson obserations etc. How on earth was that Headteacher supposed to do his normal work with 5 hours being taken out of his day? Light touch, eh?
Oh, and the Head I was talking to, obviously very committed to the pupils in his school, is eagerly looking forward to being able to retire.
I wonder why???