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Observations/learning walks

(8 Posts)
bestthingsinceslicedbread Sat 11-Mar-17 18:26:08

Hi
My school.is going through a major period of change. Our last official ofsted was in 2013 where we were graded as good.
We had a health check by the local authority at easter 2016 (basically a mocksted) where we were deemed to be requires improvement.
Since this has happened we have had advisory teachers etc in to improve things. This seems to involve weekly book scrutinies and learning walks. The learning walks are usually around 30 mins long and we are given written feedback. Everyone also sees each others book scrutiny feedback- not whole school.points for improvement but targeted criticisms. All feedback is negative with no good points ever. Next week I have a learning walk, book scrutiny and a lesson observation.
Our head teacher went off sick and has now retired. We now have an acting headteacher.
My question is, is this level of observation etc normal?
The pressure we all feel.is immense and many staff feel we are carrying the can for our headteachers failure to lead and the local authority to challenge the lack of leadership.
I'm thinking of resigning but am unsure if I should stick it out and hope it improves in September. Having spoken to teacher friends who currently work in requires improvement schools they don't seem to be under this level of weekly scrutiny.
Has anyone be a similar situation at their school?

toomuchicecream Sat 11-Mar-17 18:51:13

Was in similar at my last school but worse - I was instructed to be the one carrying out the learning walks, book scrutinies etc etc etc and constantly be delivering "helpful" feedback to my colleagues. I left. I advise you to seriously consider doing the same.

My observation is that there are some excellent LA advisors who know what it is really like to run a school, how long it takes to embed sustainable change, what it is possible to achieve in a given timescale. And there are some that have no idea what it is like at the chalk face any more. The one I encountered had only been a Head for about 18 months before going off to county to advise others, so he had absolutely no experience whatsoever of sustaining change over a longer period. He continued to give my previous school grief, running the lovely Head into the ground so she ended up resigning. What he was demanding was completely unrealistic given the circumstances of the school. If your advisor(s) are like that then it's only going to get worse. However, if you feel the advice and support your school is getting is realistic and what you are being asked to do is achievable then it's probably worth sticking it out.

bestthingsinceslicedbread Sun 12-Mar-17 08:52:11

Thanks for your reply.
I do agree with many of the points raised in the mocksted however it's the speed with which they expect us to implement all the changes. We barely have time to embed one new initiative before they hit us with another one. The amount of observations etc just feels like they're covering themselves for their lack of management over the years.
If I'm honest I think I will just leave. The constant scrutiny and negative feedback just makes me dread going to work.
Thanks again. It's good to hear other people's experiences.

RandomDent Tue 14-Mar-17 21:03:03

You don't need this. Start looking for another job.

rollonthesummer Tue 14-Mar-17 22:38:41

My school isn't like that-I would look for a new job, if I was you

FartnissEverbeans Tue 21-Mar-17 10:48:14

Is this still a thing? I thought the OFSTED changes would have rendered a lot of these approaches obsolete.

I'm not in the U.K. any more so a bit out of touch but this sounds annoying and stupid.

Have you contacted your union? Having said that, I used to be a union rep and found that teachers complain a lot but don't do much to improve their situations so it might not make much difference.

Buttercupsandaisies Thu 23-Mar-17 21:33:12

I thought the union fought for changes to observations - brought in in September? we were told a maximum of two per year from now on (I teach adults though)

MiaowTheCat Fri 24-Mar-17 11:25:14

My old head was brilliant at actually making book scrutinies and planning trawls USEFUL! You'd get your stuff back with little comments scrawled on like "have you seen X resource in so-and-so's room for this topic" instead of the endless pointless hole-picking that seems so prevalent in education these days. I loved that head to work for (sadly now since retired) - because she really did manage her staff in such a positive way and got bloody better results from them as a result.

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