OFSTED – it’s all about trust!

In Red Dwarf, Dave Lister knew he was in the game Better Than Life when the second cup of coffee tasted better than the first. This is my second blog of the day and if you didn’t think much of the first one this is hardly going to help matters…

The reason for my ramblings was in response to #helpsean who asked how could school leaders be convinced to serve in Requires Improvement schools. My response was to train all headteachers with five years or more experience as HMI and make inspection a peer support process. 

OFSTED, to change for the better? http://wp.me/p4o37M-3a 

There were a number of people kind enough to respond positively to this and some who questioned my thinking (Am flattered they thought there was any…) 

The first question was around trust – a key point. For me trust is a sore point for OFSTED and the system almost seems to under line a lack of it. Short notice inspections hardly say trust – more it says we think you are probably putting on a performance and we don’t believe you. That sort of thing is a big enough issue by itself without the curious judgements of some poorly trained teams under sub contract. My personal favourite was the lead Inspector delivering training who claimed things had changed since Mike Cladingbowl had written his clarification about lesson grading and this chap didn’t mean since 2009! In house training will improve consistency by my point was wider and it was about capacity. 

If heads are trained in house and inspect and then form lasting collaborations with the schools they have inspected then schools become about learning as well as teaching as schools learn from each other.

I am not swayed by the counter which states that heads are already serving inspectors as this is a case of new people in an old role and it doesn’t build capacity moreover it will only certain Heads who feel confident and able to do this – rather than it being an expectation of all.

Tweaking the old system will mak  it better than before but that is a sticking plaster for a broken leg.


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