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I remain deeply disturbed by how the threat of Ofsted has distorted the educational practice of my colleagues and in some cases caused them real harm in terms of their physical and psychological well being.

So do I Andy! It even started to get to me this week despite all my good intentions, and I consider myself to be pretty level headed. I don't think any of us has been unaffected by this experience but I really wonder whether the replacement system will be any sort of improvement. The threat of a visit from those 'men in black' will be with us constantly if they come in every 2 years at a couple of days notice...surely not a recipe for reducing teacher stress or for improving the education of the students in our care! B)

Short of breathing new life into the LEAs which no central government would do, I am afraid I cannot see a future without Ofsted. It is of course the singularly most quoted reason for leaving the profession given by escapees.

Supporters of Ofsted suggest that it has "driven standards up" in the last 11 years. I do not share this view. Exam grades were shooting up even before Ofsted (starting in the 1980's), and when one considers that the average 5 A-C pass rate for O Level in 1974 was 10% and the current 5 A-C pass rate for GCSE is 60% one has to wonder how much of this "improvement" is down to dumbing down the curriculum.

My biggest problem with Ofsted is the ideology which underpins it. We are to see education as a market place where pupils, schools and teachers compete for grades. We are to see therefore the art of teaching as the fulfilling of prescribed statements on an inspectors tick sheet :)

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My biggest problem with Ofsted is the ideology which underpins it. We are to see education as a market place where pupils, schools and teachers compete for grades. We are to see therefore the art of teaching as the fulfilling of prescribed statements on an inspectors tick sheet

I don't disagree with these sentiments Andy, but I also have a huge problem with the amount of money such inspections must be costing. The cost of the actual inspection team's training, time, paperwork, expenses and other associated costs is, doubtless, astronomical - probably one reason why the system is to be changed. The additional time and energy spent by each school's teaching and non-teaching staff, the additional paperwork and other expenses are not counted within this expenditure of course. However, the combined cost, in terms of monies and time that should be spent in actually providing better conditions for all within the school system, is a national scandal! :rant

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

There was a newsflash today on the TES website "Most RE lessons 'not good enough'". How could that be news? Of course it was not the story, as the quotes imply, it was just OFSTED complaining that the RE in schools does not reflect the diversity of faiths in the country.

I ought to nail my colours to the mast and mention at this point that I am a born-again atheist....OK just an atheist.

However OFSTED worship control and their idea that the people drawing up the various programs for RE "need professional help" is just cheek.

It was central government interference which gave us the "wholly or mainly Christian" assembly and now OFSTED in typical OFSTED fashion are moving the goal posts to prove that the teachers are all wrong and the politicians are all right.

I - and probably a majority of parents - do not worship at temple, mosque, synagogue, chapel or church. It is our views which are being ignored or patronisingly treated as "an error".

On the contrary I think you will find we are a wee bit more tolerant of others' right to pursue their religious observances; they do us no harm.

I think it may be OFSTED who need professional help. Unfortunately I am not a taxidermist.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We broke up for Christmas today. Ofsted came and went this term and the final report was published yesterday and so I feel at liberty to comment on the experience and the report in public.

Ofsted in my view are in real trouble. They clearly have serious problems recruiting appropriately qualified people. Ofsted pay has diminished considerably over recent years and LEAs have refused to allow their employees (advisors etc) time away from their normal work. The result is an apparent mixture of the aged, the under-qualified and the otherwise unemployable making up Ofsted teams.

The arrival of our "team" every morning was akin to watching the Darby and Joan Christmas party roll up. Average age must have been 60+. I dread to speculate on the average IQ.

Some really quite fantastic howlers were made by inspectors during the 3 and 1/2 days of madness they were with us. For example:

"I'm going to hit your in a minute" (Inspector to persistent HOD)

"I'm a mischievous little pixie" (senior inspector to small child) - quite chilling this one!

"Your GTP teacher didn't straighten the chairs as she left the room (Inspector to HOD)

"Your subject knowledge is equivalent to someone teaching in a grammar school" (Inspector to very experienced teacher)

"One of your history teachers is mispronouncing German names" (Inspector to HOD)

"You used regress as a noun, it is a verb" (Inspector to me - :angry: - the word actually has a long and distinguished pedigree as both :lol: )

We had also had examples of inspectors interupting lessons to which they weren't even assigned to do such things as "look at the displays". I had to tell one such character off for talking to members of my class whilst doing this when I was trying to teach the whole class - scarcely believable <_< One inpsector was a day late in arriving, and one 6th form subject appeared under the wrong title in the final documentation with no report despite being observed.

Finally when we do see the report in contains several factual innacuracies, reference is made to resources we have never heard of, and one poor lady has her gender changed from "she" to "he"!

I draw two main conclusions from this catalogue of incompetence:

1. Firstly, if Ofsted is to survive (which in my view it shouldn't), there should be a clear and independently regulated code of conduct for Ofsted Inspectors

2. There are very serious problems with the quality and professionalism of a number of the characters carrying out inspections.

Given the power vested in these people this latter point needs urgent attention!

I wish any one due to walk this particularly insane tightrope in the near future the very best of luck.

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Andy writes:

The arrival of our "team" every morning was akin to watching the Darby and Joan Christmas party roll up. Average age must have been 60+. I dread to speculate on the average IQ.

So I guess there’s no hope for me as I approach 63 in 2005 <_< I am obviously going downhill – which is true, actually: I shall be going downhill skiing sometime early next year. My IQ is still quite high, although I tend to forget people's names these days.

BTW, I have nothing to do with Ofsted and never have done. I think it’s a dreadful organisation. I look back fondly to my first year as a Newly Qualified teacher when the LEA Adviser (note NOT Inspector) for my subject area dropped in to observe me teaching and then sat down with me in the staff room offering a bit of friendly (and useful) advice over a cup of tea.

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Andy writes:
The arrival of our "team" every morning was akin to watching the Darby and Joan Christmas party roll up. Average age must have been 60+. I dread to speculate on the average IQ.

So I guess there’s no hope for me as I approach 63 in 2005 :angry: I am obviously going downhill – which is true, actually: I shall be going downhill skiing sometime early next year. My IQ is still quite high, although I tend to forget people's names these days.

Ageist nature of previous post noted. No offence intended :lol: .

Thank you for bringing this to my attention Fred <_<

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  • 3 years later...

Damn it all - 3 years have now passed and the buggers are back in this week with a "new style inspection" - 2 days with 4 inspectors centred on the school SEF (School Evaluation Form). I wonder if it will be a more positive experience?? :blink:

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Damn it all - 3 years have now passed and the buggers are back in this week with a "new style inspection" - 2 days with 4 inspectors centred on the school SEF (School Evaluation Form). I wonder if it will be a more positive experience?? :blink:

It has been a bad week with Liverpool being beaten by Chelsea. (Thought you were unlucky over the two legs).

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Damn it all - 3 years have now passed and the buggers are back in this week with a "new style inspection" - 2 days with 4 inspectors centred on the school SEF (School Evaluation Form). I wonder if it will be a more positive experience?? :unsure:

It has been a bad week with Liverpool being beaten by Chelsea. (Thought you were unlucky over the two legs).

Yes it has and yes we were. Still it gives me free reign to concentrate on my lesson objectives this week without getting overly excited and distracted by Moscow :lol:

We were informed of Ofsted on friday pm - the effect since then has been intensely concentrated stress and pressure. In fact I think it has been worse than in the old system of 3 months notice.

Last time the inspectors (bless them) were looking for evidence that lessons had a beginning, a middle and an end (KS 3 National Strategy). This time I am told they will be looking for evidence that we all understand that "every child matters".

I can only guess that come 2012 they will be investigating whether bears really do xxxx in the woods :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...
We were informed of Ofsted on friday pm - the effect since then has been intensely concentrated stress and pressure. In fact I think it has been worse than in the old system of 3 months notice.

Last time the inspectors (bless them) were looking for evidence that lessons had a beginning, a middle and an end (KS 3 National Strategy). This time I am told they will be looking for evidence that we all understand that "every child matters".

I can only guess that come 2012 they will be investigating whether bears really do xxxx in the woods :maggieJ

How did the inspection go? According to a report published today, Ofsted is spending too much time examining exam results and not enough visiting the classrooms.

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We were informed of Ofsted on friday pm - the effect since then has been intensely concentrated stress and pressure. In fact I think it has been worse than in the old system of 3 months notice.

Last time the inspectors (bless them) were looking for evidence that lessons had a beginning, a middle and an end (KS 3 National Strategy). This time I am told they will be looking for evidence that we all understand that "every child matters".

I can only guess that come 2012 they will be investigating whether bears really do xxxx in the woods :maggieJ

How did the inspection go? According to a report published today, Ofsted is spending too much time examining exam results and not enough visiting the classrooms.

That is exactly our experience - total observation time about 2 hours the rest of the time sat about arguing about "standards" thereby missing the opportunity to see what we do. I will be writing at length later about the new section 5 Ofsted arrangements which are clearly unfit for purpose once I have seen the final report :rolleyes:

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