General Chat Thread, One Day Notice Inspections in General; I for one would quite like IT in schools to be inspected from a technical point of view (rather than ...
30th May 2012, 09:41 AM #16
I for one would quite like IT in schools to be inspected from a technical point of view (rather than a user point of view). It might give some schools the prod they need to update their equipment/software, when they don't listen to our advice.
30th May 2012, 09:44 AM #17
I had an external audit carried out in November last year that was managements decision. I was told 3 days before they were coming onsite, i changed nothing, i did not panic. 2 days of auditing the system and a very large report was handed in.
Very useful experience actually, few improvements were pointed out but on the whole was told the system was in a good place with the funding available.
If teachers are doing their jobs right then they should no nothing to get stressed about really.... should they???
2 Thanks to dave.81:
dwhyte85 (30th May 2012), GrumbleDook (30th May 2012)
30th May 2012, 09:46 AM #18
Once again. No, they do not directly have that ability. A teacher can highlight issues with processes and policies, but if those policies are signed off by the governing body and in place then they should be followed and changes proposed and then agreed via the SMT and signed off by the governing body again. A teacher cannot simply turn round to the SMT and say 'this behaviour policy doesn't work, i'm doing X, Y and Z instead'. Voicing concern is NOT the same as being able to affect change.
Originally Posted by dwhyte85
Once again, you're assuming that people have any sway with their SMT when it comes to these things. There are thousands of posts on here from NM's highlighting a complete lack of investment into their IT infrastructure, and with them being ignored. People can and do complain and 'make superiors aware' until they're blue in the face but many see nothing come from it.
You complain about 5 year old machines... fair enough, that's old but it's not the end of the world... you need to make your superiors aware of support costs in terms of your time and the frequency of problems, if they are aware - they are at fault. If you sit quietly crying to yourself trying to support these machines and your seniors aren't aware, you're at fault... they can argue they aren't the IT people - they didn't know.
You're working from the assumption that saying things to people will lead to change. This is a great and idealistic assumption to make but is wrong in a lot of peoples' cases! Have a browse around the Behind the Red Door and you'll see what I mean.
My point is you can't hide behind "it's not my fault" and nor can a teacher. As much as they don't make the big decisions, they should be telling when they things aren't running right, SLT
/SMTs aren't godlike beings, they make poor decisions - as do NMs.
30th May 2012, 09:49 AM #19
I am not saying they will listen, i'm saying at least concerns have been raised and you/they have done all they can do... I've been in the position of nothing getting done, i fully emphathise! Sometimes you might get lucky and things get discussed, from experience it's normally a reply saying thanks for the information and no response
Whistleblowing happens in hospitals, perhaps it should happen more in schools if things aren't 'right'. These spot ofsteds are a good thing IMO and i think an audit of IT and Facilities/H&S would be a good thing, then again if they can't listen to the in-house experts what's the point in having them?
Last edited by dwhyte85; 30th May 2012 at 09:51 AM.
30th May 2012, 10:16 AM #20
Simon retires back under the bridge ....
PS A friendly audit != <> != a hostile Ofsted
Thanks to SimpleSi from:
GrumbleDook (30th May 2012)
30th May 2012, 10:21 AM #21
Kettle is on
Originally Posted by plexer
30th May 2012, 03:51 PM #22
Been part of and done external audits ... there are some really good firms out there which do them and some very aggressive firms who are touting for business (include LA traded services in the description of good or bad firms).
No notice is fine when you are doing well ... but hard when you are struggling as the time to find answers for people (when answers don't exist) are just setting you up to fail.
Accountability is good ... a firing squad is bad.
A friendly face who understands your problems is good, but might not hold you as accountable as you might want. QA is not there to be your friend, but they shouldn't be your enemy either.
30th May 2012, 07:07 PM #23
If a school's management and staff are getting things right, inspection will reveal exactly what management and staff know already: strengths, weaknesses, whatever. If they are not getting things right, the inspection report will be a surprise.
If inspections are done right (I know this is another discussion) they should produce reports which accurately describe a school - and therefore will not be news to the Head, SLT or Governors.
Full marks to people who have posted above to say they'd welcome inspection of their own IT areas: these are clearly people who are working hard and making as sure as they can that they are getting things right, who are analytical and self-critical.
31st May 2012, 09:26 AM #24
Just one small point...
Not all schools, heads, governors, or staff are equal... There are different challenges, levels of engagement, etc... in each... With a wife still teaching but doing supply in secondary, I get to hear of the huge range in behaviour, policies, headteachers attitudes, etc. If you're in a single school for years at a time, without a great deal of direct experience of others it's very difficult to avoid comparing all schools to your experience in the same way that parents seem to draw on a 18+ year old experience and try to apply it to their childrens own experience now.
Personally I wouldn't have a problem with inspections if they came without the obvious political agendas or outrageous expectations. Unfortunately it seems like the whole process is nothing but a rubber stamp exercise to push privatisation, undermine teachers, headteachers and state education rather than a supportive measure similar to the audit approach being discussed for IT. Wouldn't a constructive crit' approach make a world of difference?
31st May 2012, 11:06 AM #25
Schools already have a range of ways that they can obtain constructive criticism. This does depend on the status of the school, the political relationships and also the existing grade of the school.
LAs have had SIPs (School Improvement Partners) for some time. The centralised push on this has been removed and schools are more freely available to gain this support and advice from others. Academies will do this between their own schools, some trust / foundation schools have been buying in advice / support for some time ... this is nothing new, just not always in plain site of all staff.
The idea of OFSTED is not to inspect every aspect of the school, but to inspect and check the ability of the SLT / partners / Governors to run / lead / assess the school. The criteria behind this have changed and very quickly too. Moving goal posts is always a difficult thing to deal with, especially when you have had a 3-5 year plan for a school and suddenly have to change the types of courses you are running, how you staff certain areas of the school, deal with news schools (e.g. Free Schools) cropping up and taking a chunk of your intake and so on.
Add to that changes to testing in primary schools, disillusioned staff (teachers and associate staff) then any school that is on the brink (for so many reasons) then the idea of one day notice will either break a school or get the school into the position of simply accepting and not caring. It is hard to be the latter when you are a classroom teacher knowing that, no matter how you have been graded in your observations, an external group might mark you up or down on what is, basically, a moderation exercise.
Thanks to GrumbleDook from:
31st May 2012, 01:28 PM #26
And the difference between these people and most teachers is ????
these are clearly people who are working hard and making as sure as they can that they are getting things right, who are analytical and self-critical.
Remember, these are colleagues working in the same place as us, under far far far more pressure to deliver (more of the time than us) and we can just blame the gremlins - they can't blame the children!
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