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Derek McMillan

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I have mentioned Aimee Mann's

"That nothing is good enough

for people like you

who have to have someone take the fall

and something to sabotage--

determined to lose it all


but of course JK Rowling's dementors are also loosely based on OFSTED inspectors:

"unfeeling monsters dressed in monochromatic robes

who suck the life and happiness out of everyone and everything around them ... "

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Is your school subject to an Ofsted inspection soon by any chance Derek?

Not in the immediate future but what bothers me is that the OFSTED watchdogs would not understand the Aimee Mann lyrics if you played them for them. Obviously Aimee Mann has met someone like this and instead of giving the self-satisfied git a smack in the mouth (for all I know she did that too!) she told the world about it.

Critics at their worst could never criticize

the way that you do

no, there's no one else, I find,

to undermine or dash a hope

quite like you

and you do it so casually, too

The problem is that lesson observation is structured so that however good the lesson is the observer is virtually compelled to find something to pick holes in .. "areas for improvement" so "nothing is good enough" and people who are more sensitive than I am (that would be virtually anybody!) are upset by it.

I run a helpline for stressed teachers....We did once get a grudging half-hearted apology from one OFSTED team but that was after the staff of a school had had to put up with their smears for a year.

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I've been (well) out of the UK school system for more than 20 years now (i.e. I left long before OFSTED). I'm fascinated by the depth of (bad) feeling OFSTED seems to evoke, though. What do OFSTED inspectors themselves feel about their bad reputations?

Are there any OFSTED inspectors reading this Forum who could tell me themselves?

Edited by David Richardson
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I think the depth of dislike for Osfted stems in the large part from the total lack of independence, and their inability therefore to give an independent judgement.

Ofsted descend on your school with an uncritical interpretation of the government's inexpert assessment of what constitutes "good teaching". They also operate under the pressure of the "requirement" to meet their own government set targets. Both these factors can lead to collusion on a grand scale. Local pressures and agendas can also be brought to bear on inspection teams.

The net result of all this is that it is very clear that the whole process is a game dressed up as the process by which schools and teachers are held accountable.

I have no confidence in Ofsted's ability to assess independently either myself or my College. I also object to being forced to play their silly games in preparation to and during their presence in my school.

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Guest Raynah Thomas

My school went through Ofsted in October, we failed, appealed, and won the appeal. This was in the wake of the new Ofsted guidlines under which any school in the country could be failed if the Lead Inspector had a mind to do so! They appear to have relaxed this a little since then. As a result of this we will have been inspected a further twice by HMI this academic year (they're in today and tomorrow) and staff morale is the lowest ever.

"unfeeling monsters dressed in monochromatic robes

who suck the life and happiness out of everyone and everything around them ... " indeed!

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