Not too long ago I resolved to not write anymore about OFSTED. Many people have written excellent critiques of the process, with recommendations to either reform or wholly jettison the inspectorate in its current form. I felt I had little to add I hadn’t already said.
I was, however, sparked into writing about the notorious ‘O’ by a conversation with a colleague very recently. It was a chat about some of the excessive responses to the ghoulish presence of a looming OFSTED visit in his previous school, whereat a raft of unnecessary paperwork, marking and more was being undertaken to please OFSTED with little benefit to learning. I therefore wrote the following article for The Guardianteach section: OFSTED and School Stockholm Syndrome . Please give it a read and comment if you are interested.
Since I wrote the article there have been interesting posts from @oldandrew and @cazzypot amongst others which have articulated criticisms of school leadership and their approach to OFSTED. I am not bashing school leaders or tarring everyone with the same brush. It should be said that there a huge amount of great school leaders and leadership teams – I’m sure Michael Gove said as much (indeed, I would hope I am part of one!). Schools are under terrific pressure in relation to being inspected and the implications of a poor inspection are punitive. That being said, we should reflect upon our approach as much as we should consider the efficacy and effectiveness of OFSTED. My article is about doing that.