It’s time for a real revolution in Britain’s schools

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James Curran
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It’s time for a real revolution in Britain’s schools

Post by James Curran » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:22 pm

It’s time for a real revolution in Britain’s schools

Peter Hyman, a former adviser to Tony Blair and now headteacher at School 21. Some interesting ideas, I'm especially interested in his ideas on Ofsted.

First, Ofsted requires a complete overhaul. It was once perhaps essential, a way of ensuring minimum standards, a floor beneath which schools could not go. It encouraged and in some cases forced schools that had no strategic plan or poor behaviour systems to get their act together. But at its heart is a destructive and damaging view of human nature. Instead of believing, as they do in most countries, that failure in schools is not the result generally of laziness or incompetence, the whole philosophy of Ofsted has been punitive. Rapid inspections, brutal judgments, a them-and-us culture.

The result is a climate of fear, and inevitably headteachers start to do things they know are not what students and teachers really need – over-monitoring, prescription for all lessons, over-testing – all in the name of doing well under Ofsted criteria. The stakes are so high that doing something turns into doing anything – almost regardless of the impact.

With the arrival of Amanda Spielman as the new head of Ofsted this month, now is the time for a radical change. Ofsted should be scrapped altogether or reformed so dramatically that it becomes a genuinely peer-led and developmental organisation.

There are three functions that Ofsted can usefully perform and all need a different solution. One, to check compliance – are children being safeguarded and protected? Here there is a case for no-notice inspections so that a school cannot cover up any shortcomings. Two, to check on standards of progress and attainment. This can be done using nationally collected statistics without a visit and if there is anything alarming it can investigate further with the school. Three, to develop the school. This should be done over several visits during a year and be conducted by a group of peers – headteachers and teachers. It should be designed not to catch a school out, but to work with it on a plan for improvement and innovation. No grades are necessary just an action plan that has to be shared with all.
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... uk-schools

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: It’s time for a real revolution in Britain’s schools

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:53 pm

Hi Jim - thank you for flagging up an interesting article.

Here is 'Quirky Teacher's' analysis of the same article:

https://thequirkyteacher.wordpress.com/ ... -clothing/

James Curran
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Re: It’s time for a real revolution in Britain’s schools

Post by James Curran » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:31 pm

I have a lot of sympathy for Quirky teacher's analysis but it was the piece about Ofsted that I found myself in agreement with.

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