Archive for the ‘Of Interest’ Category


Another Andrew Old Round Up

September 23, 2014

There’s been a bit of a lack of blogposts lately due to a mix of work and other commitments, but I thought I’d take the time to let you know what I’ve been up to, or am about to be up to.

  1. The ResearchED conference was earlier this month. You can now see me interviewing OFSTED supremos Sean Harford and Mike Cladingbowl here. For some reason the part where I ask for questions via Twitter was cut, so if you wonder why part-way through the video I start looking at my phone, then I can assure you I didn’t get bored and I am not playing Angry Birds.
  2. I wrote a few pages for a book, “Don’t Change the Lightbulbs“. Published in aid of charity, the book looks great and I’m really happy with how my section “Ten Things OFSTED Won’t Like” turned out. Please buy it.
  3. On Thursday I am speaking on a panel at a Battle Of Ideas satellite event in Pimlico, on the topic of “What Makes a Good School”. Details can be found here.
  4. On Saturday I will be doing a workshop on “Fluency in Mathematics” at the La Salle Education maths conference. There are still a handful of free tickets available here.
  5. On the 18th of October I should be on another panel, this time at the Battle Of Idea Festival. The topic is: “Lessons from Asia: what is a world-class education?”. Details available here.
  6. On the 23rd of October, I should be speaking to the Warwickshire Fabian Society, about “Obstacles to teaching”. Entrance is free and the event takes place from 7:30 pm (to 9 pm) at 28 Regent Place, Rugby, CV21 2PN

Radio 4 Interview

June 17, 2014

Although apparently my house is “small”.

I seem to spend a lot of time these days apologising for not blogging regularly enough. Since I ceased to be anonymous I keep getting requests to do things that, while being a result of being a blogger, actually take up much of the time I used to spend blogging. One of these, from a few weeks back, was an appearance on a Radio 4 programme called “One to One” that was broadcast this morning.

The programme can be found on iplayer here or downloaded as a podcast here.

I’ve been a bit surprised at the level of response I’ve had to this, far greater than the last time I was on Radio 4 (i.e. here) perhaps reflecting what time people listen to Radio 4. People I know in the real world, rather than the niche world of online teachers, seem to have noticed it without me telling them, and this is even though my real name is not actually mentioned in the programme.

If you are new to this blog, having just found it after hearing the radio programme, I will be reposting a guide to the contents of the blog later this evening.


An Andrew Old Round Up

May 13, 2014

Apologies for the lack of blogposts recently. This has, in part, been down to a fair number of other activities and opportunities that have come up since I ceased to be anonymous (none of them in any way likely to make me any money). I’ll take this opportunity to advertise some of the things I have done/will be doing.

  1. I know this isn’t new, and my contribution is available online here, but I have written the foreword for Progressively Worse by Robert Peal.
  2. I wrote an article about Improving Teacher Quality for the Fabian Society website.
  3. My views on Performance Related Pay can be found in the online version of the Guardian today (but not the print edition) here.
  4. I will be speaking on “The Teacher As Expert” at a Teach Meet in Stafford on the 9th June. Details here (there’s still a small number of speaking slots available).
  5. I am on a panel at the La Salle Education maths conference (for both primary and secondary teachers) on the 14th June. Still a handful of free tickets available here.
  6. I should be speaking, on another panel, at the Wellington Festival of Education on the 20th June.
  7. I have written a contribution for Don’t Change the Light Bulbs, edited by Rachel Jones, which should be out in September and is available for pre-order now.
  8. I should be doing a talk on “How to have a rational argument about education” at ResearchED 2014 in London on the 6th September. Tickets and details available here.

As for future projects, well … if you need a maths teacher (preferably part-time) for September, for  a school in the West Midlands, please let me know.


My Article About OFSTED on the NUT Website

March 5, 2014

I have written the following article about OFSTED for the Expert View section of the National Union of Teachers website:

The Ongoing Saga of the Ofsted Teaching Style


A Christmas Miracle – OFSTED Get It Right For Once

December 23, 2013

Thanks to @ClerktoGovernor for being the first to point this out to me.

OFSTED published their Subsidiary guidance supporting the inspection of maintained schools and academies today. This is the section on teaching (points 64-67):

Inspectors must not give the impression that Ofsted favours a particular teaching style. Moreover, they must not inspect or report in a way that is not stipulated in the framework, handbook or guidance. For example, they should not criticise teacher talk for being overlong or bemoan a lack of opportunity for different activities in lessons unless there is unequivocal evidence that this is slowing learning over time. It is unrealistic, too, for inspectors to necessarily expect that all work in all lessons is always matched to the specific needs of each individual. Do not expect to see ‘independent learning’ in all lessons and do not make the assumption that this is always necessary or desirable. On occasions, too, pupils are rightly passive rather than active recipients of learning. Do not criticise ‘passivity’ as a matter of course and certainly not unless it is evidently stopping pupils from learning new knowledge or gaining skills and understanding.

When in lessons, also remember that we are gathering evidence about a variety of aspects of provision and outcomes. We are not simply observing the features of the lesson but we are gathering evidence about a range of issues through observation in a lesson. Do not focus on the lesson structure at the expense of its content or the wide range of other evidence about how well children are learning in the school.

When giving feedback, inspectors must not argue that they are unable to give a particular grade because of the time spent in the lesson.

Inspectors must not aggregate the grades given for teaching is a formulaic or simplistic way in order to evaluate its quality overall.

This isn’t even half-hearted or ambiguous. This is exactly what I wanted to see.

Thank you, OFSTED.

Now, the task for those of us in schools is to make sure this is shown to every SMT type, every consultant and every person with “teaching and learning” in their job description and that no inspector gets into a classroom without confirming that they are aware of this section of the guidance. Every union rep should be making sure that this is known to everyone carrying out lesson observations of your members. Every governor needs to make certain it’s reflected in their school’s teaching and learning policy. This is as good a protection as we’ve ever had. Don’t let it be ignored.

Merry Christmas.

Update 30/12/2013: I have written an analysis of why this is such an important change, in light of previous issues raised on this blog, here.


Whatever Happened to…?

December 17, 2013

The following blogs were started this year. apparently written by people either starting teacher training or their NQT year:

Obviously this is a busy time of year; some have only ceased posting 3 or 4 weeks ago, and some were never very prolific anyway. I know a few are on Twitter, apparently still teaching and may even plan to blog again. But just to reassure everyone that you are all still with the profession, it would be good to hear from you, preferably in the form of a new blogpost before next term saying how you’ve got on this term.

Update 19/12/2013: School Direct Trainee Blog and KATEELIZABETH93 have blogged.

Update 20/12/2013: I missed this on the 18/12/2013 because the name’s changed, but the first of the 12 to blog was actually SaysMiss, formerly KATSCRAP’S BLOG.

Update 24/12/2013: Bex Trex …to teaching! has blogged.

Update 25/12/2013: TO TEACH IS TO INSPIRE has blogged.

Update 14/1/2014: The Miss Georgiou blog no longer exists, but the posts now appear on a new blog with greater anonymity. For obvious reasons I won’t provide a link.

Update 17/1/2014: FIRSTDAYATSCHOOL has now blogged.

Update 19/8/2014: Weekly Maths has now blogged. (Well, actually a few months ago, but I forgot to say at the time.)


Edublog Awards 2013

December 7, 2013

I have been nominated in the “Lifetime Achievement” Category in the Edublog awards. If you have a Twitter or Facebook login you should be able to vote below or by following the link.

Lifetime Achievement 2013 – Edublog Awards

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