25 November 2009

On inspection overload

The link is to Frank Coffield writing in the TES about Ofsted's "Common Inspection Framework" for Further Education. Thanks to Peter H for showing it to me.

Interestingly enough, the Daily Mail has a front page lead today on how one in three schools is "failing to provide adequate teaching" according to Ofsted. A major problem seems to be that lessons are boring and uninspiring. It is of course just possible that it is the leaden hand of inspection which leads to that problem... Ofsted is part of the problem, not the solution.

Incidentally, the Mail arrives at the "one in three" figure from the finding that;
"Teaching in 2 per cent of schools - about 400 - was rated 'inadequate'. It was merely satisfactory in a further 28 per cent."
In Orwellian Ofsted Newspeak, "satisfactory" means "unsatisfactory"


  1. Apparently, the TES article is severely truncated; the full article of 1,400 words on "Ofsted Inspected" will appear in the December issue of Adults Learning. Watch this space.

  2. James Morris10:53 am

    I saw the offending article plastered all over the front cover of the Daily Heil when I went for a much needed haircut yesterday afternoon. It wound me up for a number of reasons, including the Orwellian rebranding of 'satisfactory'. The main thing that annoyed me, however, is that it's completely true about the adult literacy. There's so much joy, freedom and power in being literate, but the current, ubiquitous model of only teaching stuff which can be tested and funded at the end of the course squashes the life out of everyone, teachers and students alike.

    I actually find it quite reassuring that my students become very miserable when summer comes around and there are no classes for 3 months. It means I'm doing something right.

  3. Anonymous8:06 am

    Whilst I'd hesitate to wipe my arse on the Daily Fail, I'd be interested to see the research which supports the seemingly implicit beleif in this post and comments that entertaining students correlates with effective teaching, as measured by exam success.

    I believe that parents are paying taxes for education in the hope of exam success fro their kids. It's very obvious from observing the abilities of fresh intake degree students that that is what they have been taught.

    That teachers want students standing on desks calling "oh captain my captain" is more to do with teachers' egos than anything else, to my mind. Unless there is some quantitative research to contradict me?

    It teaching entertainment? is it therapy? or is it teaching as everyone but teachers use the word? http://pgdtllsreflectivejournal.blogspot.com/2009/10/art-of-teaching.html


Comments welcome, but I am afraid I have had to turn moderation back on, because of inappropriate use. Even so, I shall process them as soon as I can.