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About lesson observations and Ofsted' reporting
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debbie



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Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teachers asked to inspect Ofsted via the TES online forum. I added a reader's comment about my views on lack of 'upwards evaluation' in the teaching profession as a whole. I have been raising this issue for years but been too busy doing my phonics stuff to tackle this more seriously:


http://news.tes.co.uk/b/ofsted-watch/2014/04/16/teachers-asked-to-39-inspect-39-ofsted.aspx

Quote:
Teachers are being given the opportunity to “inspect” their own Ofsted inspectors through an internet site being launched today by a teaching union.

The NASUWT wants teachers observed during an inspection to go online immediately afterwards and critique their inspector. They will be able to report on the inspector’s behaviour and whether they followed Ofsted’s inspection rules.

“The online tool we have launched today is a major step in the strong resistance that now needs to be mounted against punitive accountability,” said Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary.

“It will empower teachers and school leaders to take back some professional control.”

The move is the latest in a series attacks on the embattled inspectorate, which yesterday was condemned by Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers union (ATL), as “a busted flush” in need of radical transformation.

The NASUWT plans to use information submitted on Ofsted through its website to identify recurring problems with particular inspection teams or lead inspectors and assess the consistency of judgements.

The tool will also allow school staff to evaluate the entire process after an inspection has finished.

The union is developing similar programs to evaluate school inspections by Estyn in Wales and ETI in Northern Ireland. It fears the two inspectorates are following the Ofsted model that it is so unhappy about.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Ofsted carrying on regardless' on 'cazzypotsblog':


http://cazzypotsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/ofsted-carrying-on-regardless/

Quote:
The following evening, therefore, I was surprised to receive a text from my colleague, which simply read,

‘Requires Improvement’

So she had been given a grade for her lesson, after all. During a lengthy phone-call with her, the details became clear. The inspector had been in to watch 25 minutes of a Drama lesson. Afterwards, she neither offered, nor gave a grade or feedback to my colleague. But what she did do, it seems to me, completely flouted the guidelines as outlined so clearly by Michael Cladingbowl (above).

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An article by 'secret teacher' describing an 'Ofsted inspection' that turned out to be a 'mocksted inspection' via 'Teacher Network'?


http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/may/24/secret-teacher-ofsted-inspections-education

Quote:
Secret Teacher: why are we really put through the pain of Ofsted inspections?

Stomach pains, insomnia and anxiety mean one thing – Ofsted inspections. But the fact that performing well in assessments is put before before staff wellbeing is appalling


Quote:
Then this: we could now be told that the headteacher had invited the inspection team for what was actually a mocksted. No one knew, not even the SLT. God knows what they thought: "Am I so untrustworthy that I could not be allowed to know?" We had been through collective misery and anxiety not for an inspection, but for an "assessment". Why? To get some new quotations for our website. We published the full report on the website, though no one will find it on official Ofsted pages and there will be no formal record of it ever having taken place. So, a little publicity is more important than the health of the teaching staff is it?

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debbie



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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is big news!


http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/ofsted-announces-plans-bring-management-of-all-school-and-further-education-inspections-house-0

Quote:
Ofsted announces plans to bring management of all school and further education inspections in-house

29 May 2014

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) has today announced that from September 2015, it will no longer contract with Inspection Service Providers (ISPs) for the delivery of School and Further Education inspections.

The current contracts, with CfBT, Serco and Tribal, have run since September 2009 and are due to expire in August 2015, requiring Ofsted to review its inspection delivery model.

Additional Inspectors (AIs), who are currently contracted through ISPs to undertake inspections on behalf of Ofsted, will continue to form a significant part of the inspection work force. However, from September 2015, AIs will be contracted directly by Ofsted, giving Ofsted more direct control over their selection, training and quality assurance.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Bromley's Blog - Mark writes about a meeting with inspectors about the basis of judgements of lessons, teaching and learning:


http://mjbromleyblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/in-the-belly-of-the-beast/

Quote:
IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

27/05/2014

Here are some rough notes on my recent visit to Ofsted. Please note that these notes relate to inspections of FE and skills providers not schools. Inspectors still grade sessions in FE where there is sufficient evidence to do so and they still expect to see and scrutinise evidence of planning. For more information about the differences between schools and FE inspections, click here:

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Webb via his 'Webs of Substance' blog on the topic of Ofsted:


http://websofsubstance.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/ofsted-requires-improvement/

Quote:
OFSTED: Requires Improvement

Posted on June 1, 2014 by Harry Webb

For those of you outside the UK, OFSTED is the government inspectorate for schools in England, amongst other things. If you follow any of the UK based educational bloggers, you will see that OFSTED is a preoccupation. It looms large over teachers’ careers and is often seen as the major source of stress.

Having moved to Australia, I can see that some of the pressures that teachers in England attribute to OFSTED – faddish initiatives and capricious lesson observation – are features of teaching here and yet we have no such body. So it might be worth bearing this in mind. However, reading the postings of those who have either experienced OFSTED or who have analysed its output, it is clear that this is a failing institution.

Some have called for its abolition. I wouldn’t go that far and I even think that Australia could benefit from an inspectorate of some sort. So it is worth analysing OSFTED as a case study, asking what has gone wrong and what would be needed to fix it.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Bennett's piece in the TES:

The Ofsted Paradox - Why Everyone Now Expects the Spanish Inquisition


http://community.tes.co.uk/tom_bennett/b/weblog/archive/2014/07/18/the-ofsted-paradox-why-everyone-now-expects-the-spanish-inquisition.aspx#.U8lyJfb80Wk.twitter

Quote:
Do what you like – as long as I like it

Today saw the publication of a report by Civitas's Robert Peal: Playing the Game: the enduring influence of the preferred Ofsted teaching style. It's an uncomfortable read, especially if you want – as I do – an education inspectorate that commands respect from the profession. In it, Peal makes the allegation that Ofsted has, and still has, a prescriptive fondness for certain forms of teaching (group work, independent learning, for example) and a prohibition for others (teacher-led activities, direct instruction, etc).


And note in the 'Readers' comments' section, an immediate attack on the Year One phonics screening check and the government's promotion of systematic synthetic phonics! Sad
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew Old's update following a meeting with Sean Harford:


Quote:
My Meeting With Sean Harford, OFSTED’s National Director for Schools Policy

July 30, 2014


http://teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/my-meeting-with-sean-harford-ofsteds-national-director-for-schools-policy/

Quote:
Before I go through the content of the discussion, it is probably worth mentioning the general tone of the meeting. Sean was not defensive. When told OFSTED horror stories, either recent or from the bad old days of last year, he did not make excuses and would ask about what could be done. At times he even seemed to pre-empt the possible criticisms of how OFSTED operates, facing them head on rather than skirting round them. He had a message to put across about what was being put into place, but was keen to discuss ideas. This was the voice of a reformed, or at least reforming OFSTED.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

July 2014 - the revised Ofsted school inspection handbook:


http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/school-inspection-handbook-september-2012
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew Old's initial comments about the latest inspection handbook - a 'must read':


http://teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/first-impressions-of-the-new-ofsted-handbook/#comment-17018

Quote:
The new handbook really spells out what I would want it to on observations; stating that there is no grading and no required style of teaching.

From the description of what should happen during an inspection:

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See the list of influential bloggers via 'Pragmatic Reform' who worked hard to raise awareness of worrying issues linked to Ofsted inspection:

Quote:
Bloggers lead the campaign to reform Ofsted

Posted on August 2, 2014


http://pragmaticreform.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/bloggers-reform-ofsted/

Quote:
At its best, social media can influence education policy – and spearhead reform. It is teacher bloggers who have led the campaign to reform Ofsted’s inspection regime.

Over the last year, we have seen massive, protracted and unrelenting pressure from teachers online to change how inspections work.

And it’s working.

Ofsted have agreed to stop grading lesson observations in all inspections from September. Their handbook now explicitly states that inspectors do not expect to see any records of graded lesson observations from schools.

Here is a collection of hundreds of blogs from over 40 teachers, school leaders and researchers in the education blogosphere who are putting pressure on OFSTED to accelerate reform.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Via 'Pragmatic Reform':

Quote:
On observation rubrics


23rd August 2014

http://pragmaticreform.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/on-observations/

Quote:
Graded observations must go. I’ve argued before that they are this year’s brain gym; I’ve shown the damaging impact on teachers in around 50 anecdotes; and I set out several alternative solutions other than grading. Now I want to compare some observation rubrics that schools use.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meeting Ofsted via Hey Miss Smith blog:


http://heymisssmith.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/meeting-ofsted.html

Quote:
Today though, I didn't feel that Ofsted are the enemy; they are not. I'm putting that out there right now. Even prior to attending the meeting, there was been small seed of rebellion growing in me against the anti Ofsted narrative coming from a vocal but influential group on Twitter: "Sale of the Century; Ofsted must go!" Seen as a haven for progressive orthodoxy, enforcing group work and reducing teacher talk, the belligerent cries for Ofsted's beheading had, in fact, made me rather more sympathetic to their cause. This did not mean I wanted to shy away from criticising them, or stating the things which many good Twitter folk had tasked me to.


I still don't agree that it is moral for Ofsted inspectors to ALSO be independent consultants for school standards.

Quote:
On the question of consultants, I was told flat out that if Michael had his way there would be no consultants, however that is apparently illegal as Ofsted inspectors have to make a living...


Why can't Ofsted inspectors make a living from being Ofsted inspectors and then independent consultants simply be entirely independent - not Ofsted inspectors some of the time and independent consultants some of the time - THAT is the corrupt system.

If the 'system' wants schools improved and it is thought that Ofsted inspectors have the knowledge and expertise to be properly advisory, then change the Ofsted system from being entirely judgemental to a system consisting of observing, discussing and advising - free of charge for the schools.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further commentary on potential developments in the Ofsted organisation via the 'Education Bear' blog:

Quote:
A Whole New World? Ofsted Meeting with Mike Cladingbowl


http://educationbear.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/ofsted-at-close-quarters-meeting-with-mike-cladingbowl/
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an interesting posting via the 'Headguruteacher' blog with a response from Sean Harford HMI:

Quote:
OfSTED Outstanding? Just gimme some truth.

POSTED BY TOM SHERRINGTON ⋅ DECEMBER 30, 2014


http://headguruteacher.com/2014/12/30/ofsted-outstanding-just-gimme-some-truth/

Quote:
As I’ve said before, fundamentally I reject the idea that schools can be judged in a meaningful way via inspections. By ‘judged’, I am not talking about an experienced visitor giving some insightful developmental feedback based on an analysis of the available data and their observations; no doubt, there are some people out there who can do this well enough. I am talking about the process of distilling this mass of qualitative and quantitative information into a simple set of final grades, with one overall Judgement Grade. The extent to which we accept this in our system despite the enormous flaws and the absence of proper validity trials continues to astonish me. The data delusions that underpin RAISEOnline hold sway where they have no right to and the complex truth of how good a school is continues to be reduced to the absurd simplicity of two or three data points. At the end, we get told that School X is Good. School Y is Outstanding. School Z Requires Improvement. It’s like we’ve been overrun by The Emperor’s New Scientologists and Homeopaths but everyone’s too scared to say anything.


If you are interested in this issue of Ofsted inspections and reporting, make sure that you click on Sean Harford's response to Tom's posting!
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