To not understand why Nicky Morgan is looking towards the US for a replacement OFSTED Chief

(79 Posts)
ReallyTired Wed 17-Feb-16 13:00:12

The USA is hardly the centre of educational excellent or high achievement. The fact that people like Donald Trump are popular in the US, or the right to bare arms shows that American educators hardly excel at the development of critical thinking skills in american citizens.

Why doesn't the UK recruit someone from Finland or Singapore? Or maybe a truely outstanding headteacher who works in the UK. At least the likes of Sir Michael Wilshaw has some idea of what its like to teach in an English classroom.

LurkingHusband Wed 17-Feb-16 13:03:23

Depends what you think the job is about ...

PausingFlatly Wed 17-Feb-16 13:04:17

Because too many people in the UK have heard of her?

Mistigri Wed 17-Feb-16 13:08:26

It would certainly be very odd indeed if there were really no one in the UK qualified for this job.

Birdsgottafly Wed 17-Feb-16 13:10:44

I agree that the Ofstead Chief should have relevant UK background.

The low scoring of some very good SN schools/Units is a personal bugbare of mine.

The whole system and what it looks to achieve and how that fits in culturally, I think, is important.

It is said that the OC is a tool of the Government, so that would answer why, at a time when there are cut backs etc.

LurkingHusband Wed 17-Feb-16 13:17:19

It would certainly be very odd indeed if there were really no one in the UK qualified for this job

Once again, depends what the job is.

The real job, that is.

If the job is to be in charge of ensuring the education system provides the best possible education for our children, then I agree. It would be odd.

If however, it were to advance the current governments mania for getting as much of the states obligations into the private sector--and washing their hands of it-- who better than someone schooled (pun intended) in the ways of a similar culture.

In fact, if the aim is to make the UK education system a clone of the US one, then it would be odd not to choose an American.

I have long given up listening, when it comes to politics, and taken up watching instead. That way you see what is actually going on, rather than hear what people want you to believe is going on.

So, ignore everything being said, and instead look at the landscape after the appointment.

wasonthelist Wed 17-Feb-16 13:31:20

Yeah, curse that constitutional right to wear t-shirts. A little ironic in a post sneering about educators?

wasonthelist Wed 17-Feb-16 13:34:39

Because too many people in the UK have heard of her?
grin

Trickydecision Wed 17-Feb-16 13:35:33

wasonthelist
grin grin

ReallyTired Wed 17-Feb-16 14:13:27

In my experience many special schools get outstanding inspections.

I think that each key stage and different categories of special schools need their own OFSTED framework. A school which caters for sixth formers sectioned for suicidal behaviour has different priorities to a mainstream sixth form.

I would like research and teachers to have more say how an OFSTED framework is developed.

"Yeah, curse that constitutional right to wear t-shirts. A little ironic in a post sneering about educators?"

I am sneering at a rich country where many states still have the death penalty, infant mortality is worse than Cuba and the murder rate is higher than most developed countries. High levels of infant mortality or crime is a failure of the american education system. Lack of money is not a problem in the US as many countries have better life outcomes with less money. The american education system has huge disparities between rich and poor districts. What do American educators have to teach the UK. Certainly we should learn from other countries, but lets pick a country where they have a lifestyle that we would aspire to.

wasonthelist Wed 17-Feb-16 14:39:19

Really - I don't disagree for the most part, but you missed the point I was making.

ReallyTired Wed 17-Feb-16 14:43:11

So you are being the spelling mistake police! So what...

We have so many gifted and hard working teachers/ head teachers in the Uk and why don't we appoint one of them to raise standards?

LurkingHusband Wed 17-Feb-16 14:46:42

So you are being the spelling mistake police! So what...

Spelling mistake ?

Tanith Wed 17-Feb-16 20:59:33

I think the biggest objection is that Ofsted oversees so much more than just schools.
They are a huge organsation responsible for the inspection of LEAs, Early Years, prison education. Children's homes, residential schools...

How can a foreign national, whose background is such narrow one, hope to take on all this? God knows, Wilshaw is blinkered enough!

ReallyTired Wed 17-Feb-16 21:33:40

Maybe ofsted needs chief inspectors for all ts different areas. I think that Michael Wilshaw understands secondary schools, but I would be surprised he he knew a lot about child minding.

acasualobserver Wed 17-Feb-16 21:40:50

The US candidates being considered have a proven track record of thwarting union resistance. It is a tory idée fixe that the teaching unions are entirely responsible for the failings of the educational system.

ReallyTired Wed 17-Feb-16 21:48:59

Surely an OFSTED inspector needs a track record of raising standards rather than a track record of thwarting Union resistance. Michael Wilshaw for all his faults has shown he can run an outstanding school in England. Quality education should be the inspectors remit rather than getting into a fight with the unions.

Namechangenell Wed 17-Feb-16 21:54:44

I wondered this myself this morning. At risk of outing myself, we live in the US, in Washington, DC. So here we are, in the capital city in one of the richest nations on earth, and the state schools are, as a rule, absolutely dire. Private groups set up so called charter schools and they close down within a couple of years, leaving the children with nowhere to go. I've seen this happen a number of times over the past few years. The whole of the education system is a business - and a big one at that. Appalling state schools means anyone with the funds pays for private education. It's currently somewhere between $25,000-$35,000 per year, per child. The international schools seem to be the best, interestingly. Now, this isn't to say that there aren't a handful of relatively good state schools - but the point is, no one wants to send their children there. Consequently, you don't get the interested parents raising funds for the PTA and so on and actively raising standards - and so the cycle continues. Michael Moore's Where To Invade Next has an interesting take on the US vs. Finnish school systems.

But no - no idea why they are looking here for a replacement. It certainly doesn't look hopeful for a rise in standards based on what I've seen to date.

acasualobserver Wed 17-Feb-16 22:02:39

Michael Wilshaw for all his faults has shown he can run an outstanding school in England

Do you think he's managed to replicate that across the whole school system?

ReallyTired Wed 17-Feb-16 22:11:57

"Do you think he's managed to replicate that across the whole school system?"

I believe he stands far more chance in driving up standards than someone who has never worked in a uk school. I believe that Michael Wilshaw has been effective at raising standards. Possibly the focus on progress as being a measure of whether a school is sucessful had gone too far. Wilshaw is far from perfect, but I would rather have him than a foreigner who has no experience of teaching in a British school.

A chief inspector can't expect to be popular. However I would not expect them to be adversial towards the unions either.

acasualobserver Wed 17-Feb-16 22:15:31

I believe that Michael Wilshaw has been effective at raising standards

Evidence?

leccybill Wed 17-Feb-16 22:19:38

I too think Ofsted needs to be broken up into specialists units. It is too big - it covers all schools, nurseries, prisons and any other kind of educational provider. There's the potential for too much cover-up from within.

And yes, Nicky Morgan will simply be seeking someone with a strong anti-Union stance.

stravagante Wed 17-Feb-16 22:23:26

As someone who once had the dubious pleasure of working in one of Sir Michael's schools I can safely say that he does get results.

He's just not that bothered about student or staff casualties along the way.

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Wed 17-Feb-16 22:31:08

All the ofsted inspectors that I know have been crap classroom practitioners. That bothers me a lot.

The U.K. Government aren't interested in Finnish systems where the child is at the centre. They want a shiny business structure with lots and lots and lots of exams and measuring.

Sixweekstowait Wed 17-Feb-16 22:52:39

My general rule in judging anything to do with education is ' if it's good enough for Eton...'. So when Eton, Winchester, Marlborough et al all have heads from the US, I might start to take American education seriously. It will all end in tears but the Tories won't care because their children won't be affected.

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