20 May 2010

On the effects of inspection

The professional education programmes at the university with which I maintain a tenuous association were Ofsteded last week. (PCE provision got 2 and 2, since you ask.)
(Ofsted=Office for Standards in Education. The militant wing of the Department for Education. Yes!  We now have a ministry which acknowledges "education" in its title; the Department for Curtains and Soft Furnishings is no more!
Incidentally, "to be Ofsteded" is a rare example of a deponent verb in English--one where the passive voice is the default. Inspectors don't say, "I ofsted, you ofsted...", they say, "I inspect," etc. Freire would say "to be Ofsteded" is the language of the oppressed...)
Given that we now have a new government which is making noises about rolling back the centralised micro-management regime of the last 13 years, and also that cuts mean that the regulatory body LLUK can no longer inspect us, I found myself thinking about whether the Quality Assurance approach actually works, and was reminded (as so often by an insightful question from a student) of work I had done on this 20 years ago, in the different context of social care.That suggested that the issue was not simple, but was comprehensible.

So I have re-visited that work and put it on the web here. Hope someone finds it useful.

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