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Ooh-concerns about reliability of Ofsted

(26 Posts)
rollonthesummer Fri 09-Jan-15 19:27:44

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30745018

This has pissed me off. They've admitted that inspections could vary massively and different teams would give different results. The Ofsted director for schools says that the weak inspectors rely a much on data.

How is it there aren't allowed to be weak teachers, but it's fine to have weak Ofsted inspectors!?

Maybe we need another team of inspectors, to inspect the inspectors?!

They're not fit for bloody purpose!

starsandmoonandback Sat 10-Jan-15 09:20:29

It's ridiculous. Get rid of Ofsted!! Of course it's totally subjective. Crazy to think it wouldn't be. Teachers/schools have known this for years.

rollonthesummer Sat 10-Jan-15 10:19:17

Pointless isn't it?!

Schools are run 100% to please Ofsted-to the detriment of the teachers, children, learning and educational theory-yet Ofsted aren't functioning properly.

Can't the government see the damage they're causing?!

RomanRita Sat 10-Jan-15 10:52:12

Pointless indeed!
But when will the profession stand as one and refuse to accept the judgements imposed by these dangerous idiots. Moaning is all very well but where will it get us without action?

Mostlyjustaluker Sat 10-Jan-15 10:57:59

I agree ofsted just looks at data and they use that as a basis for their judgement and then observe lesson to see if they need to down grade.

I am still annoyed they still employ inspector to observe teacher who are not qualified teacher and have never taught. How can have enough understanding of development psychology and pedagogy to assess a lesson?

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Jan-15 11:07:42

They've got rid of agency inspectors as a first step.

But, it's not just that different teams could give different judgements on the same school, but this has already happened, at least twice.

teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/are-ofsted-judgements-reliable/

I think Ofsted are having to admit this because it's becoming increasingly obvious post-Trojan horse that Ofsted judgements are subjective nonsense, and if they don't admit it, and suggest that they are working to correct it, then they risk being shut down completely.

RomanRita Sat 10-Jan-15 11:19:55

'then they risk being shut down completely.'
Good shut them down and allow the profession to return to a sustainable equilibrium!

RomanRita Sat 10-Jan-15 11:24:01

Almost every day I rage at the Ofsted-inspired rubbish that I'm required to peddle - or lose my job presumably!

What a terrible disservice we are inflicting on a whole generation of children! I enjoyed my time at school (mostly) but how many of the current intake will be able to say the same?

rollonthesummer Sat 10-Jan-15 11:45:25

We need a bloody revolution!

Something needs to be done. Can the unions strike about Ofsted? They need to be united before anything will happen though.

Imagine what teaching would be like without catering to every changing whim of Ofsted? It pisses me off that what was good/outstanding 5 years ago is now actually considered bad practice. As if we were damaging children wilfully with a choice of teaching style. Surely as long as your results are good, your parents/children are happy and learning-you are doing a good job regardless of whether you've 'chalked and talked' at them for 18 minutes on the carpet sometimes or whether they've talked to their learning partne for six. Will the children still learn well if you write 'Great sentences' in their book or if you've written a whole paragraph which they've responded to and you've written back; we're not bloody pen-pals. Will the children still learn well if they haven't written the learning objective or success criteria? If they can't quote their targets? If they can't tell you how to reach a 2b in maths?

My neighbour's school was heavily criticised during Ofsted. Apparently displays are not supposed to be about showing off children's work. It should be word banks and working walls. I loved seeing my work on display when I was at school-absolutely loved it.

We had a county-wide course recently where the course leader laughed about how shockingly bad the literacy hour was. I would have laughed, but it was her who gave us the flipping training on how wonderful it was 15 years ago!!

It's a bloody shambles.

Hannahabbott Sat 10-Jan-15 12:02:39

I should work in a bloody circus the amount of hoops I jump through..... Or perhaps I do.

RomanRita Sat 10-Jan-15 12:15:58

'We had a county-wide course recently where the course leader laughed about how shockingly bad the literacy hour was.'

So ok, the literacy hour was another imposition from on high. But how to explain the generations of people prior to Oftwits who were not only well educated but thrived in the world of work and made positive contributions to society? Are we all so hampered by our appalling education that we are unable to recognise the Gove-inspired Nirvana we all now inhabit?

SignoraLiviaBurlando Sat 10-Jan-15 14:07:08

Oftwits grin

pudding25 Sat 10-Jan-15 14:29:33

So agree with all of this. It's a joke.

Ridingthestorm Sat 10-Jan-15 16:03:01

I don't think there is a way of making inspections reliable. There are always going to be flaws. There will always be weak teachers and weak OFSTED inspectors whether they are agency or not. I don't even know what the answer is! Although I will say judging a school using a 'one word and number' criteria is not helpful and quite damaging.

My school was judged before the actual inspection, the inspector (a non-primary ex-headteacher inspecting a primary school) admitted to the governors that his visit (and a question he asked about the LA) WAS political; we were one of 15 schools in our county blitzed 'not so long ago'. That inspector was ruthless, asked questions after questions and didn't give staff time to reply to them, cutting them off mid-sentence to ask another question and made it clear from the onset that he was there to 'fail us'. We didn't, but we didn't come out of it with the fair 'grade' we deserved. He, I believe, was a weak inspector who relied on data (he admitted that had he arrived two months later sfter the KS2 results were released to schools, his judgement would probably have been different) rather than the judgement of what he saw in school to base his overall judgement.

We were all left bruised and battered with a complete loss of self esteem and confidence. Luckily we had a head who was driven to prove them wrong and the night she received the preliminary results, she set to work on the action plan. Even HMI couldn't understand 'what it was that we were doing wrong'. She made one visit and gave 'us' her number and said "call me if you have any problems or queries!?!?!"

Personally I would have liked us to object to the findings but there is little faith in the OFSTED regime that this would not have been effective and still would not have resulted in the fair grade we deserved.

Thankfully we have parents on our side and could see through the political agenda of OFSTED and the government.

Society isn't stupid. The flaws in OFSTED are beginning to show and it really won't be long before there is a complete, radical overhaul of the entire inspection system because even PARENTS are beginning to mistrust their judgements.

My local primary school that my son is about to start St, was 'outstanding' four years ago. Three years later they were judged to be 'inadequate' based wholly on data!!!!

rollonthesummer Sun 11-Jan-15 20:04:42

How about we abolish Ofsted and just have LEA advisors who come and tell us what they like, what could be improved and lots of peer/inter-school sharing of good practice!

threepiecesuite Sun 11-Jan-15 20:30:22

The school I work in is miserable. The teachers are miserable and flogged to death, and so are the kids. The (brand new) building is uninspiring and their is no spirit. It is a faith school too, although you wouldn't know - no time to reflect or pause.

It hasn't always been like this. Before we moved site, say 5/6 years ago, school was buzzing. Kids were curious and lively, and staff were more energetic. Dare I even say it, we had a laugh. Camaraderie, social interaction, learning about life together, not just meeting targets.

Ofsted has ripped the spirit out of schools.
My own DD has just begun Reception and I see it in her teachers' faces too. I despair for the immediate future of education and our poor guinea pig children within it. They are not a commodity, this is their only chance.

threepiecesuite Sun 11-Jan-15 20:31:07

*there blush

TheReluctantCountess Sun 11-Jan-15 20:35:10

There is no place for enjoyment, laughter or curiosity in schools today. We are beaten, whipped and threatened, metaphorically, as are the students. It's awful.

Iggly Sun 11-Jan-15 20:35:44

I work in a profession (audit) where we have to make judgements - you wouldn't think it but we do...

To ensure consistency, we have quality assurance arrangements, peer reviews and post project reviews to make sure we get things right.

Doesn't Ofsted do this?! I'm guessing not - sounds like a crock of shite the more I hear about them.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 11-Jan-15 20:46:30

No. We're not encouraged to work with peers - new pay conditions mean that we are now working against one another, in competition.

Iggly Sun 11-Jan-15 21:07:18

Why? What's the point in that?

TheReluctantCountess Sun 11-Jan-15 21:14:23

There isn't the cash for everyone to have a pay rise, so management can choose who gets it. You have to jump through hoops, have the best results and shout loudest, on top of having the face that fits. We are no longer working together for the good of the kids, or even for the school's results, but just for our own. It's a sorry state of affairs.
We are dispensable, and are regularly told so. We know full well that we can be replaced by a Teach First or other such trainee that costs the school nothing, at the drop of a hat.

rollonthesummer Sun 11-Jan-15 21:46:16

*There isn't the cash for everyone to have a pay rise, so management can choose who gets it. You have to jump through hoops, have the best results and shout loudest, on top of having the face that fits. We are no longer working together for the good of the kids, or even for the school's results, but just for our own. It's a sorry state of affairs.
We are dispensable, and are regularly told so. We know full well that we can be replaced by a Teach First or other such trainee that costs the school nothing, at the drop of a hat.*

That is the depressing truth!

Schools with 100% Teach First trainees wouldn't be great though, would it.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 11-Jan-15 21:52:47

Not at all. Not at all.

threepiecesuite Sun 11-Jan-15 22:16:11

Wouldn't be happy about my own DD going to a school staffed by TeachFirsts and NQTs. Enthusiasm does not replace experience. We need a mix of energetic new entrants and those who have been around the block and know which initiatives can be ignored, and who can stand up to their managers when working conditions take a hit. And of course everyone inbetween.

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