"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Monday, January 23, 2012

OFSTED cometh

Actually OFSTED has already been - to Younger Daughter's place of work, a high school in the Gateshead area. They had been expecting it and, as these days, only a few days notice is given, the staff had been preparing since September. They and the support team from the local authority felt that the school was performing well and indeed, the last inspection had resulted in their being graded as 'good'. but things have changed. Under the new inspection framework, whereas 'satisfactory' used to mean 'good' (Don't ask!), now it means 'unsatisfactory' and as their grade this time round is 'satisfactory', which means it isn't, they can look forward to another inspection in 12 to 18 months. Even if they had got another 'good' it wouldn't be any help to them, as Michael Gove has indicated that schools have to continually improve. How that plays out when they get to an 'outstanding' is a point for discussion.
It seems that the staff of the school overwhelmingly felt that the OFSTED team were inconsistent in their approach and are feeling pretty annoyed at the whole experience to say the least, but I have to feel a strong sense of pride in the way Younger Daughter has picked herself up (her only gripe was that she didn't get any feedback!) and made a list of all the things she and her department need to do before the next visitation.
You see, if that were me, I would be saying something along the lines of "Sod 'em!"
Which could explain why I never got further than deputy head...!


  1. I never advanced further than 'assistant to Wackford Squeers'.

  2. My daughter is waiting for her school's ofsted. They wwere hoping it would be before Cristmas but alas no.

    It does seem to be bash a teacher everyday season at the moment. I am supposed to be available for supply now my tutoring funding has dried up but I just can't face it. If John earnt a bit more I could give it all up. I long to chuck all the resources in the recycling. I might any way. It wouldn't be good enough in this climate. I am too old for all this!

  3. Good luck to your daughter. I just hope she doesn't have the spirit knocked out of her. The few days notice is now to become 'no notice'!

    You'll chuckle at this .... one of the things that I am now accountable for is managing my workload. So if my workload is so heavy that I can't manage it, it now becomes my fault, and not the fault of my manager!!
    Counting down the days ....

    Read that the new chief of OFSTED thought he was doing a good job if staff morale was low!

    Just where do they pick'em?

  4. 'assistant to Wackford Squeers' describes my position to a T, Cro!
    WendyCarole, best wishes to your daughter. I hope it goes well for her.
    They pick them off another planet, Gaynor!

  5. The teaching staff at my school are wondering what they have to do. They all work really hard already and we are ONLY good. Obviously not good enough now.

  6. What other profession is treated in such a way, Rosie!

  7. Just had to read your post as we are expecting them at my school too - such a stress! We all work so hard and seems outstanding is practically impossible to achieve now ...

  8. The old HMI system was so much better, Grace. At least they were there in a supportive role. OFSTED are just punitive.

  9. I do wonder why nobody in charge ever seems to realise that if you blame teachers all the time for everything they will have very poor morale and leave as soon as they can find something else. Is THIS what we want for our children?

  10. True, Daphne, but then the powers that be are too busy scoring political points off one another.



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