So I took the time to complete the consultation. I may have got a little more heated as the consultation went on. But, I am more than happy, like the vast majority of colleagues, to talk about this. But, it is time that OFSTED listened.
If you are a senior leader and want to be part of a positive group looking to change how policy is delivered to schools, rather than with schools, please get in touch with @headsroundtable
Q1. Do you agree or disagree with the introduction of a new common inspection framework for maintained schools, academies, further education and skills providers, non-association independent schools and registered early years settings from September 2015?
The issue IS consistency, because too many inspectors don’t know or understand the setting that they are inspecting. Actually thinking about what needs to be inspected and having specialist inspectors for each phase makes sense to me. How do you judge progress in a yoga class in an FE in comparison to observing 3 years olds talk about a painting.
Q2. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’ judgement (paragraphs 19-20)?
Considering how aligned all the other grades are to overall effectiveness. I cannot see the point of separate grades. This is actually where the inspectorate being more school improvement partner could have an effect. If a school’s overall judgement is RI or lower, the separate headings could have the starting points of an action plan to enable the school to work towards improvement. These should be specific and meaningful to the school and not a set of generic statements.
Q3. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed ‘quality of teaching, learning and assessment’ judgement (paragraph 21)?
This is impossible to judge in a one day or two-day inspection. You can only scratch the surface and make superficial judgements in a short time span. Go to one class, speak to a few students, look at a few books and the outcome for the school can be completely different than had you gone to a different class, spoken to different students etc. Too many inspections I have been involved in, become a battle over what the SLT see day in and day out and what an inspection team see in a few hours.
Q4. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ judgement (paragraphs 22-23)?
see my comments to the question above.
Q5. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed ‘outcomes for children and learners’ judgement (paragraph 24)?
I strongly disagree if this judgement is skewed by disadvantaged pupils closing the gap. Especially while we have that judgement based on 5A*toC inc. It is also skewed by the majority of schools having relatively small cohorts (see John Dunford presentation – Using the Pupil Premium to narrow the gap: policy and practice which shows 6 of the deciles have below 13.2%).
Q6. Do you agree or disagree with the specific additional judgements proposed for the common inspection framework (paragraphs 28-31)?
this is a little going round in circles…they should be judged separately, yes, as they were. I am confused as to the impact if one area is found to be significantly different in judgement to the others
Q7. Do you agree or disagree that Ofsted should continue to report on the curriculum as part of the judgement on leadership and management?
again going round in circles, because it was…this will create an “ofsted” specified curriculum
Q8. Do you agree or disagree with the proposals for short inspections of good maintained schools and academies (paragraphs 32-34 and 37-40)?
This begs the question of why bother at all if you are looking at the data and find that there has been no significant drop in performance. Also, like this year’s attainment, in the future, if similar changes happen to the examination series so that you cannot judge one year’s against another, how will you know that performance has dipped?
Q9. Do you agree or disagree with the proposals for short inspections of good further education and skills providers (paragraphs 35-36 and 41-45)?
Q10. Do you agree or disagree with the proposals for the inspection of non-association independent schools?
Seems a tidying up exercise. Not sure why you need to inspect a private concern at all. Why are you using taxpayers money to ensure the education of students outside of the maintained sector? If parents want the choice of a school that can be judged by Her Government’s Inspectorate they should attend a state school.
Q11. Are there specific changes to the way that inspectors gather evidence that you think could make our judgements more reliable and robust?
Q12. Do you have any other comments about this consultation?
Please use this moment to reassess the role of ofsted in improving education of our children and not a moment to move the deckchairs.
Ban any current inspector from being paid consultancy fees to ‘help’ schools through an inspection.