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General Chat Thread, [BBC News] U-turn signalled over no-notice inspections for schools in General; Most assessments of IT systems in school (a number where done by Becta and other groups as part of surveying ...
  1. #31

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Most assessments of IT systems in school (a number where done by Becta and other groups as part of surveying schools) highlighted the lack of planning in schools, lack of communications between tech and teaching sides of schools, issues with capacity management, etc ... there were lots of good points too ... but things like this were then fed into SLICT and FITS.

    If a school would like an IT Audit there are still folk out there who do them on a commercial basis ... and some LAs still do this as well.

  2. #32

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Personally I have a problem with the whole attitude of OFSTED. School improvement should be a collaborative process, currently it is adversarial. Recently a teacher was graded as 'good' so at his feedback sessions he asked the inspector what he needed to do to become 'outstanding', the inspector told him that it is not OFSTED's to give advice about how to improve but simply to make judgements. This is a disgrace and goes against what the inspectors are looking for when teachers are helping their pupils; imagine an inspector seeing a teacher telling a pupil that his work is incorrect but won't tell him how to get it right.
    Then a complaint should have been put in - it is very much OFSTED's place to say what they did wrong and therefore what needed fixing.

    Quote Originally Posted by znova View Post
    Ofsted in my opinion are just a bunch of people who couldn't make it in teaching. With my governors hat on, we had an inspection, the sole inspector wasn't interested in teaching, just how to make the results fit his preconceived grade. The teachers had independent inspections from LA, our head etc, teaching was deemed all good some with outstanding features but the inspector just looked at the data and said teaching was satisfactory. What a way to demoralise your workforce.
    If the results being gained don't match the predictions made by your own staff then teaching *cannot* be good. If it was, then why did they not hit the targets? The predicted grades are set by the school itself, based on the child as an individual and national progress levels. You might get a couple who miss their targets due to whatever reasons (illness etc...) but if overall they aren't being hit, that is indicative that something is going wrong with the teaching.

  3. #33
    znova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Then a complaint should have been put in - it is very much OFSTED's place to say what they did wrong and therefore what needed fixing.



    If the results being gained don't match the predictions made by your own staff then teaching *cannot* be good. If it was, then why did they not hit the targets? The predicted grades are set by the school itself, based on the child as an individual and national progress levels. You might get a couple who miss their targets due to whatever reasons (illness etc...) but if overall they aren't being hit, that is indicative that something is going wrong with the teaching.
    The problem is if you have a small school than 1 or 2 children not achieving really mess up the results. We were inspected by an ex-Ofsted inspector (now LA) on numerous occasions (even Unannounced) who admitted that teaching was good despite coming to prove otherwise. The results are improving but apparently not enough for Ofsted. Both him and Ofsted inspector came to point out the obvious but despite us asking repeatedly didn't offer any advise on how to improve on paper to match what is happening iN the classroom.

    What annoys me most, that when the inspector was leaving he said -of record- that if we were inspected in December we would have got a good grade. Thanks!
    Last edited by znova; 8th May 2012 at 11:21 AM.

  4. #34

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znova View Post
    What annoys me most, that when the inspector was leaving he said -of record- that if we were inspected in December we would have got a good grade. Thanks!
    Funny that, we were told a very similar thing (off record)....

  5. #35
    znova's Avatar
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    On another note, at work we had an inspection, got a very good grade but then we are an academy, the government can't be seen to give anything but good grading to their flagship schools. Of course we were issuing laptops left right and centre for "small group work" = tidying away problem kids. It's all political.

  6. #36
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    We were all strongy encouraged to petition against the no notice inspections (anonymously I must add). What a joke.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by znova View Post
    With my governors hat on, we had an inspection, the sole inspector wasn't interested in teaching, just how to make the results fit his preconceived grade. The teachers had independent inspections from LA, our head etc, teaching was deemed all good some with outstanding features but the inspector just looked at the data and said teaching was satisfactory. What a way to demoralise your workforce.
    Two sides to that one: TOH was called "the best I've seen.." when training (independent assessment from another PGCE institution) and OFSTED always think she's Outstanding and she doesn't do anything she doesn't always do for that i.e. works hard. But the internal assessments usually have her as middling based on feeble, typically wrong, nit-picking... I'd like to believe that's some cunning SMT plan to keep the teachers striving to improve as opposed to resting on their laurels, but it's actually about local incompetence. I've had to do quite a lot of the 'only respect respectible opinions about you, discard the rest..' stuff coz it always puts her in serious career changing mode.

  8. #38
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    This is all quite an interesting read. Having only been in the education sector for 4-5 years, I get to experience my first OFSTED inspection tomorrow and Wednesday. Just had a text from the ICT Coord to let me know they found out about it this afternoon.

    I've always been of an understanding (as with some other through previous experience on other sectors) that inspections should be done without notice to a degree, but also in conjunction with regular assessments from "line managers" (for want of a better phrase).

    That said that I think the level of notice this school has been given (the afternoon before the visit) is more than adequate as that way the staff don't have any option but to get on as they were. It's then for SLT in the mean time to keep reviewing their staff and make sure they function as best they can ensuring the pupils get at least the level of education expected by the government. I've been dreading the day really when we were going to get "the call" having not been through it before, but this way, even if there are things I've missed, then I'll have to be pulled up on them, and the same with the staff. That said, I have been asked to be in early in case staff forget how to use computers overnight .. lol ..

  9. #39

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    is more than adequate as that way the staff don't have any option but to get on as they were.
    I would expect a signficant fraction of the teaching staff to be working till midnight and then back in at 6am.

    Si

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    I would expect a signficant fraction of the teaching staff to be working till midnight and then back in at 6am.

    Si
    Probably, but that's their planning I guess .. mind you, I've already been on the servers (not in that school today) to double check on things and spotted a few printer issues (waste toner boxes full, empty toners, etc - nothing that can't be sorted when I get in - so fingers crossed, everything should run relatively smoothly from my POV ..

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Really? If you harbour such feelings to toward your school that you enjoy watching it being put through, and its reaction to, an OFSTED inspection then I suggest you aren't the best person to be working there.
    Yes really...every school should be inspected without notice to see how things really run. I no longer work in a school but I work in an environment where if something goes wrong, heads will roll. Feedback is essential in my job or nobody learns. When working in a school on a contract basis they had a surprise visit, and come out with flying colours, and it should be like that for everyone. In business you don't get a notice, it just happens, schools should be the same. We may agree to disagree on this, but if the school is really amazing and all singing and dancing, or is really awful or somewhere in between a no notice inspection will highlight any failings, and will also highlight where the school excels.

  12. #42

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    I think the OFSTED inspection is totally OTT and not realistic so should be reworked, but I think 0-day inspections should happen once this is done. You can not expect perfection every lesson, every day, but day to day things you should expect. Last inspection here the school was the calmest ever, no kids let out to roam, SMT available, staff had been in late every night and in early every morning & wasn't indicative of the school. It isn't sustainable and isn't realistic.

    From the other point of view OFSTED have gone loopy. A local school got inspected and were pulled up on a kid not holding open a door for an inspector, showing they hadn't been taught manners, and for a lunch time supervisor not explaining to a child why they had to pick up the rubbish and put it in the bin. When the student was asked why they thought they had to do it they shrugged and said "I dunno". Welcome to kids OFSTED!

  13. Thanks to TechMonkey from:

    SimpleSi (9th May 2012)

  14. #43

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    Definitely gone loopy:
    Recent OFSTED...inspectors were concerned that the children were not questioning the teachers enough - sitting quietly and in a well-behaved fashion listening to the teacher's input before getting on with it...and....
    One inspector wanted to mark the behaviour down from good to satisfactory as she heard some children shouting in the corridor...once...
    Food teacher told she talked too much..she was DEMONSTRATING some cookery skill at the time so the children could actually do it. There seems an increasing emphasis on the children doing it themselves with minimal input from the teacher - I can see what they are getting at but there are actually some things that HAVE to be taught.
    Inspectors not allowed to tell the head which teacher was deemed what- bit daft as a lot of the input from OFSTED was about finding out whether the head and SLT's assessment of the teachers was accurate.

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    In a previous life I used to be a Quality, Hygiene and Health & Safety Officer in a large manufacturing company. Although it was customary for us to be given notice of an impending inspection there was also a higher standard that you could sign up to which would require unannounced inspections for which, if you passed you received a higher award e.g. Gold Award which was then displayed for all to see. This was done in an effort to reward those companies that have put in the resources and procedures, rather than those that just get employees to fill out six month of forms etc with different coloured pens and have a week of manic cleaning up etc.
    Not sure if that would work in this instance but it was a good idea.

  16. Thanks to craig2562 from:

    SimpleSi (11th May 2012)

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