Monday, 18 March 2013

Should we scrap Ofsted?


Seriously. All it seems to do is pass questionable judgements of schools while creating stress, mayhem and dysfunction. I was struck by this comment from a teacher at a private school (who'd a load of experience in state schools):

But really the biggest change is lack of Ofsted. After seven years in the state sector I became very weary of the cloud that hung over state schools. I worked with amazing colleagues in wonderful schools but it felt like everything we did, every initiative we undertook was to appease Ofsted. We worked in fear of Ofsted, and I was fed up of it.

It feels so different here. Independent schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. I've had no experience of them yet and I rarely hear them mentioned. We don't base our teaching on forthcoming inspections. All the initiatives we put in place here are for the benefit of our students, not to appease Ofsted.

Sounds like a plan. Off you go Mr Gove.



asquith said...

OFSTED was brought in by Major and the National Curriculum by Thatcher... and I know things have changed since then, and right-wingers are more libertarian than they were, but it still doesn't seem like a coincidence. It's an idea worth entertaining but I'm sure we know better than to hold our breath. Aren't league tables and the like actually quite popular, especially amongst those whose children attend schools with a high ranking?

Jon said...

Sorry, what sounds like a plan? This doesn't make sense for a number of reasons. You want to make policy on the hoof, off the back of a single story. Ofsted don't give schools six month's notice anymore, it's a day. So if that means schools have to always be on their game, so be it. Go to Wales and take a look at what has happened to educational standards since they decided to get all relaxed about educational standards. One final point, do you really suppose that it's all cushty just because they don't don't have Ofsted in the private sector? Pressures will be different -parental very often - and will create their own peverse behaviours for schools and teachers.