The Ofsted report – Part IV: Five questions our inspection left me with

Improving Teaching

This was my first Ofsted.  Although I’d heard and read much about inspections, I still found the process bewildering.  I am left with five particularly pressing questions.

1) In what sense do inspectors help teachers improve?
Despite asking for it, I received no feedback.  My colleague was told he was not allowed to see his lesson observation forms (the link to do so is here).  Those colleagues who managed to speak with inspectors were offered surprising and dubious comments which graded their lesson rather than offering formative ideas.  This accords ill with the words of the inspector on the first day: that he was there to help us improve.  Perhaps it’s right that ‘light touch’ inspections will move away from observations (although I think we have problems if they’re going to place an even higher premium on dubious data).  Observations hold high stakes for teachers and put them under significant pressure; individually, they…

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