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midagetrolop | 23:53 Thu 10th Jan 2013 | Education
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Can someone please tell me how Ofsted can go into a school for a couple of days and decide if the school is good, bad or indifferent. Do any of these inspectors know what teachers have to put up with behaviourwise these days,and the abuse they get - for which there is no deterrent only exclusion, which is a holiday for most of the abusive children. They should be asked to take these classes and see how they get on with children who do not want to learn and think they know it all. When schools know Ofsted and on the way, the atmosphere changes and the fear of god is put into them. I think they should be put in schools to teach for a month or two in some of the City comprehensives and see what it does to their morale and stress levels! I am not saying that all the children are bad, but it only takes one or two in a class to be disruptive to upset the whole class.


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You don't seem to know much this at all.
The Ofsted visits may not be ideal as a means of assessment of a school, but they are not solely about about the behaviour of kids or class discipline, though that is clearly part of the indicators considered.
It is also about robust processes and systems in place, methods of review of these, good management and leadership from the top.
The reason why such inspections were felt necessary in the first place was that Heads and senior teachers were, in general. useless at managing people and processes, though many were damn good teachers, which is how they got promoted in the first place.
I would put it to you that both Government and Ofsted do understand about the behaviour of many kids being a key issue. But that's an indictment of morals and society in general.
You could look at the Ofsted report for any school to see what the inspectors are looking for.
Question Author
buildersmate _ I have taught - but adults, so I do know a bit about it. What I am saying is how in two days or so can they deduce what goes on - they should be there longer. My son teaches in a secondary school and the stories he tells me are horrendous and it strikes me that before giving a grading they should have a go at teach some of these students who don 't want to learn and pull the others back and make it difficult for teachers today - they have all me sympathy they need a medal!
Before I endured my first OFSTED inspection I thought...Great! Help and support at last. Someone will see what is happening in schools and perhaps education can get back on track. Was I ever wrong!

Bloody Inspectors.......with apologies to Wendy Cope.

Bloody inspectors are like bloody buses-
You wait about four years
And as soon as one approaches your school
A whole team of them appears.

You look at them flashing their clipboards,
Offering you a tick.
You're trying to guess what they've written,
But watching them just makes you sick.

If you make a mistake, there's no turning back,
Even though you may think that you blew it.
But remember that those who are judging your skills,
Are there because they couldn't do it!
Question Author
That's great gness - I will show that to my son. I just had a thought that buildersmate might be an inspector - he protestus too much!!
Buildersmate an inspector? No....too articulate I think. :-)
For my second OFSTED I prepared a little book of "poems" to amuse my colleagues and hid a few bottles of wine in the P.E. teacher's cupboard to be opened as the inspectors drove away.

The Inspecting Man........Hugh Mearns (ish)

As I was walking up the stair,
I met an inspector who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd stay away.

I gave a copy of my little book to the Team Leader as he left. ;-)
For them to be of any value the inspections should be completely unannounced. Inpection team knock on the door 9am Monday morning with absolutely no prior notice.

I have a number of friends in the State teaching business and the amount of time they spend "preparing for Ofsted to come in" is preposterous.
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; and those who can't teach become OFSTED inspectors!
Fair point from New Judge. I don't mean it as a generalisation but when I was teaching my colleagues who left to become the revered 'inspectors' were not particularly known for having good control and skills in the classroom.
New Judge...I could amaze you with tales of the weeks and weeks of preparation for our first inspection.
I longed for regular inspections by local, well qualified people who knew first hand what we were dealing with and could advise and support us, and, more importantly tell, the eejits in the ivory towers just what it was we were dealing with.
My experience too, Prudie.
Having been on the receiving end of a few Ofsteds, I still feel they come in with agenda and look for "evidence" to fit their preconceptions. Their very presence in a classroom makes the atmosphere false, one once stood at the front of the room, slightly behind the teacher and jiggled his keys in his pocket, at least that was the generous interpretation! My main problem used to be that though they offer criticisms, they will not venture any suggestions for improvement, which always seemed to be a cop-out.
Ofsted has never distanced itself sufficiently from the circumstances of its origin, namely an instrument put in place by Thatcher and her lackey Baker as an aggressive method of subjugating a profession that thought and had opinions.
Prior to Ofsted's birth a regional network of HMI (Inspectors) existed and they made the unannounced visits described by Buildersmate. They also had for the most part good working relationships with schools and with education authorities.
Schools need to have their work overseen and measured but Ofsted can only do this in a superficial and therefore unfair way. This has had the effect of demotivating hard-working schools and puffing up the egos of many who do not realise how very lucky they have been. If I had a pound for every stupid self-important teacher or headteacher who has chirped 'but we don't need to do anything about XYZ because Ofsted says we're excellent'.
I work in a secondary school in a non-teaching but supervisory position. I am horrified by the lack of respect shown by students to the teaching staff.All students aren't bad nor are all teachers poor but the balance of power needs to be with the teaching staff otherwise the lunatics end up running the asylum. However I can see no deterrent to prevent this. Successive governments be they right or left are in Hans Christian Andersen land (the emperor's new clothes syndrome).
I fall short of the trap of mentioning corporal punishment/cane....oops I've just done it!!!!
"...namely an instrument put in place by Thatcher and her lackey Baker as an aggressive method of subjugating a profession that thought and had opinions. "

Strange that nobody in the last 25 years or so has seen fit to abolish it then.
New Judge - not strange at all considering the highly effective support for Thatcherism shown by Bliar and his spawn.
they are not there to check up on naughty kids. they dont judge a school based on the behaviour of the naughty ones... they know bad ones can be anywhere, regardless of the school.

they are there to check how the school runs, how good the teachers are, how they deal with the unruly kids, how they assess the kids etc etc

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