Meeting Mike Cladingbowl – or OFSTED, my part in its re shaping – or how turnip for a meeting late…

A few thoughts after our meeting, we all went into to the hour and a half meeting with questions to ask and left three hours later with them answered – well, except one.
Mike Cladingbowl is a teacher – he talks like a teacher and thinks like a teacher – he is also quite prepared to say if something is bollocks and did. (The “fact” that OFSTED defined expected progress.)

The discussion was good and had the meeting room not been needed it may have carried on longer. (I enjoyed listening to all around the table)

The title of this post is my attempt at irony by the way and it refers to the fact that Twitter can be a place of hubris where some attempt to claim that their actions have led an organisation to change. Or that Twitter is shaping this debate or that organisational approach. I don’t think that is the case, what I do think is the case is that OFSTED seem interested in engaging with the profession at large through different mediums – Twitter being one. Mike talked about engaging with teaching unions and Headteacher organisations to help shape inspections and the future.

Inspection as lever of change was acknowledged openly and @debrakidd (One of those people who I could have listened to for longer) noted that this could work to the advantage of the profession as the dialogue progresses.

I asked about collateral damage – that is the impact of change and the fact that whilst OFSTED my be clear,
some of the inspection teams are not. Mike talked about encouraging teams to use professional judgement and that the inspection guidance should no longer be something teams can hide behind “I would give good but the OFSTED guidance says…”

Mike was keen to stress that team composition was important and his desire to see more Heads on inspection teams. The point was raised as to whether it should only be heads and whether classroom teachers should have a role to play.

The meeting felt like a step on a long path – but Mike was generous with his time and was happy to meet again. Both @heymisssmith and @emmaannhardy have blogged about their meetings with Mike.

Mike talked about organised and punctual teachers in good schools – I initially had the wrong time for the meeting and managed to get lost coming out of the train station – I shrank a little in my chair.

I did say we all had questions – mine was “What is your favourite turnip?” I am sad to say this was not answered in the meeting – but maybe there will be another opportunity?



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