An interesting development re appointment of the new Ofsted Chief Inspector

(18 Posts)
Feenie Thu 07-Jul-16 07:11:33

schoolsweek.co.uk/amanda-spielman-rejected-by-cross-party-mps-for-ofsted-chief-inspector-role/

"Ms Spielman’s responses on child protection were particularly troubling and did not inspire confidence that she grasped the importance of Ofsted’s inspections in preventing children being held at risk through service failure.”

shock shock

Feenie Thu 07-Jul-16 07:20:05

More here:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36723828

NickNacks Thu 07-Jul-16 07:21:13

I don't trust any recommendations Nicky Morgan makes anyway.

SisterViktorine Thu 07-Jul-16 07:21:56

Nicky Morgan will appoint her anyway because she can't bear to be told she's wrong. She thought, for one moment, she could be PM FFS.

Feenie Thu 07-Jul-16 07:22:04

"Nicky Morgan - "Whilst I am grateful for the consideration the committee has put into the matter and take your views very seriously, I remain wholeheartedly in support of Amanda as the best person for this crucial role."

shock shock

Feenie Thu 07-Jul-16 07:23:49

I heard her say that, Sister Viktorine - thought I'd misheard for days.

Both these people are dangerous, and have little regard for the safety of children.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Thu 07-Jul-16 07:24:33

Ms Spielman would join Ofsted without any direct experience of teaching or children's social care

That's a worry, has she met a child before?grin
I'd like an ex teacher I think.

leccybill Thu 07-Jul-16 07:26:15

Is this for real?
God help us. Nicky Morgan needs to go.

kesstrel Thu 07-Jul-16 07:43:16

Actually, I think she might be a very good candidate, because she is a very good administrator, and recognises the need to listen to teachers' views. Where will they find someone with expertise in all the widespread areas Ofsted covers? Here are two blogs by teachers who think she would be good:

teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/dear-politicians-dont-mess-up-the-chance-to-make-ofsted-fair/

www.labourteachers.org.uk/the-short-rise-and-fall-of-amanda-spielman-flymygeekflag/

Apparently, one committee member said she lacks passion and they want a "crusading" head of Ofsted. Yeah, that's just what we need; I think we've had enough "passion" in government recently hmm

Feenie Thu 07-Jul-16 10:59:36

Ms Spielman did not demonstrate the passion for the role that we would have hoped for. We were concerned that, when asked why she wanted the job, she did not refer to the chief inspector's role in raising standards and improving the lives of children and young people

She did not convince us that she had a clear understanding of the other aspects of this complex role, such as: early years; primary education; children's services; child protection; looked-after children; special educational needs; further education; and the educational support role for which local authorities are inspected

Ms Spielman did not appear to recognise the importance of building bridges with the professions inspected by Ofsted - in contrast to her predecessor, Ms Spielman would join Ofsted without any direct experience of teaching or children's social care

We were [...] deeply troubled by Ms Spielman's statement that "you cannot say that the buck stops with Ofsted" on child protection - whilst we agree that those delivering children's services should be held responsible when they fail, the very purpose of inspecting children's social care is to prevent children being placed at risk through service failure

We did not leave the session with a clear sense of how Ms Spielman would go beyond Ofsted's mission statement to translate it into practice or of the direction she saw Ofsted taking under her leadership
Conservative committee chairman Neil Carmichael said he and his colleagues were "unconvinced" that Ms Spielman was the right person to lead Ofsted, to raise standards and improve the lives of children.

"Ms Spielman's responses on child protection were particularly troubling and did not inspire confidence that she grasped the importance of Ofsted's inspections in preventing children being held at risk through service failure.

"As a committee, we did not leave the session with the view that Amanda Spielman was prepared for the vast scope and complexity of this important role."

I'm not sure you fully understand either, kesstrel - did you not read the bit about having no clue regarding child protection, fgs? hmm

kesstrel Thu 07-Jul-16 13:56:06

Sorry, Feenie, but I'm afraid I don't find the judgment of the parliamentary committee, based on an interview, to be conclusive on that matter. "Did not inspire confidence that she grasped the importance" could mean a lot of different things, depending on what was actually said, and the political bias of those listening. One of things I don't think it means is "doesn't have a clue". hmm Condescendingly telling me that you're "not sure I fully understand", and quoting swathes of the report at me (as if I wouldn't have read it) really doesn't constitute an argument.

I understand that many people are politically opposed to this appointment; however, a great many teachers whose judgment I respect disagree with the committee's his decision. Since you have quoted large chunks of the parliament committee's report at me, I will quote one of them to you:

The basic problem we have had with OFSTED over the last few decades is that it has not been fair. There are schools with excellent results and committed teachers that have been told they “require improvement”. There are “outstanding” schools that have actually been disastrous failures. And this is without the long history of perverse criticisms of effective teaching, and ridiculous praise for gimmicks that has appeared in reports. In my own career I’ve seen schools wrecked by OFSTED, either by rewarding bad practices or punishing good ones. I’ve been told a lesson of mine was inadequate because the students were working quietly and I’ve seen a school dip massively in results, forcing out the most effective teachers, as they pursued the “OFSTED teaching style” instead of academic achievement.

Now I have been positive about the attempts to address these problems. Improvements have been made and in the end I was positive about Sir Michael Wilshaw’s time as HMCI. There are good people in OFSTED trying to get the bureaucracy to work, and I am convinced it’s much better than it used to be. I no longer argue that OFSTED should be abolished, and am really grateful for what they’ve done to address concerns.

But there is always more that could be done. It should be possible to ensure that all reports are fair. That the unintended consequences of inspection are minimised. That problems are addressed as soon as they become apparent.

And that’s where Amanda came in. She proved at Ofqual that she has the ability to correct dysfunctional systems. If her time at Ofqual proved anything, it’s that she knows how to make systems fairer. She has an intellectual grasp of statistics and management, combined with a genuine concern for fairness and the views of teachers. She is the only person on earth that could change OFSTED into an organisation with a reputation for fairness and a respect for the frontline. And this does not mean she doesn’t care about standards or improving schools, but a fair inspection system that evaluates schools accurately is the best way to improve schools. We need to move away from the idea that the OFSTED process is something to be gamed, and to a system where the best way to get a positive judgement is make sure your school is effective.

kesstrel Thu 07-Jul-16 14:12:07

I will just add that I know something about child protection, and I find the idea that "the buck stops with Ofsted" to be an extremely simplistic approach to a complex situation. I suspect Amanda Spielman may have taken a more rational and nuanced approach to this point, rather than one that would make a good soundbite. It would be interesting to see a transcript.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Thu 07-Jul-16 14:16:19

I am in full agreement with kesstrel

A little less 'passion' and a bit more common sense and I am happy!

kesstrel Thu 07-Jul-16 14:26:15

I've just found another teacher blog analysing the Committee's report and Spielman's letter in reply. It addresses the paragraphs Feenie quoted above point-by-point. For anyone who's interested, it's here:

www.learningspy.co.uk/featured/amanda-spielman-run-ofsted/

admission Thu 07-Jul-16 16:04:12

Don't often agree with Mrs Morgan but on this I do. The select committee were interviewing based on what they wanted from the candidate, not what was on the job description.
Ofsted need organising, they have many people who are experts on education and even a few on child protection but it is not necessary for them to be in charge overall. It needs someone who can rise above the day to day work and actually make Ofsted an efficient organisation.
The buck does not stop with Ofsted on child protection, that is simply a mistake by those on the select committee. Ofsted are responsible for inspecting it, not make it work.
Ms Spielman might or might not be the person who will sort it all out, only time will tell that but there is no way that she can be worse than the present incumbent.

Feenie Thu 07-Jul-16 17:35:19

I stopped reading that of at this point, kesstrel :
There seems a very clear consensus from people working in education that Spielman is a good choice.

Absolute rubbish.

www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/exclusive-nicky-morgan-aides-circulate-desperate-letter-generate

If the writer of the learning spy was even halfway accurate, Nicky wouldn't need to desperately circulate anything. The message from union leaders, social media and media.commentators has been very clear.

kesstrel Thu 07-Jul-16 18:52:02

Feenie An unfortunate choice of phrasing, certainly, but personally I don't think that a bit of careless wording invalidates an entire argument. Of course you are entitled to do so, if you wish.

I don't have the same faith as you in union leaders and media commentators, I'm afraid. The ignorant condemnation of phonics that too many of them have indulged in, and still indulge in, has shown me that they too often prioitise political/philosophical group think over careful consideration of evidence. Mary Bousted and Christine Blower have been particularly guilty of this.

As for social media, it really depends what social media you follow. I follow a group who are passionately interested in evidence-based education, and most of them take the view that the Select Committee is wrong in this.

Another teacher blog criticising them:

behaviourguru.blogspot.co.uk/

"I’ve met Spielman on many occasions; she’s spoken at several researchED conferences. She knows an extraordinary amount about the realities of schools, the gauntlet of disadvantage and opportunity that they represent, and possesses one of the five best minds in UK education. And I believe she understands exactly what kind of inspectorate my profession now needs. Not one that will attempt to be the arbiter of what good teaching is- that should be a conversation the teaching profession drives for itself, in partnership with other communities like ITT, research, and professional bodies. Ofsted can get the Hell out of that frankly."

kesstrel Thu 07-Jul-16 19:00:27

I will just add that the TES, too, has long been biased against phonics, to a quite shocking degree, including dishonest and twisted reporting. As a consequence, I don't trust it to report other matters accurately either. While the government frequently deserves lambasting, too many education journalists simply take the anti-government line in a knee jerk way, without looking closely at issues on their individual merit.

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