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OFSTED: Smoke and Mirrors and Malevolent Magic

November 9, 2013

Update 10/11/2013: I reblogged this yesterday because I thought it was a really good description of the OFSTED inspired observation culture in schools. However, within that same weekend there were another two really interesting blogposts also describing those experiences. Rather than overdoing the reblogging I thought I’d add the links here:

From BigkidMy experiences of Mocksteds

From Joe KirbyWho says knowledge is pointless in English?

If anyone writes another description of observation nonsense in the next few days I will add it here.

From Thomas Starkey:  Judgement

cazzypotsblog

smokemirrors

‘Every damn thing we’ve talked about at school this week has been driven by Ofsted, and not by the need to educate children effectively’  @cbradbee tweeted last Wednesday.

Even in so few words, the distress and despair of this teacher is palpable. The fact that the OFSTED obsession is interfering with, and often hindering, the effective education of the children is a sad reflection of the times we live in. No surprise, then, that this tweet also summarises the entire ethos and philosophy of schools like mine.

Absolutely everything we do, nowadays, is driven by what our SLT team expect that OFSTED will be looking for. Much tea-leaf-poring has now been distilled into a list of lesson ‘requirements’ which is, I believe, based largely on the OFSTED lesson observation criteria. Lesson perfection; lesson utopia.

And yet. There are those who profoundly disagree. According to a BBC News report (13…

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