Wednesday, 30 March 2011

What does OFSTED know?

Having been on supply now for 7 months I feel it is time to question the judgements made by OFSTED. Schools get a few days' notice before OFSTED visit and they can tidy up, mark books, complete planning, warn and threaten the children, ask the worst ones to stay off and freshen up displays, etc. When I visit I see what really goes on. I can see them as they really are. Pay me to inspect them is what I say! I have been in enough staff rooms to hear what they really think about the kids. I have seen enough displays of appalling behaviour from children to paper any display wall. I have marked hundreds of books with many unmarked pages before my bit! I was in a class room today with French words stuck on objects stating "Le chaise" instead of "La chaise" and worse! It takes two minutes to check a spelling and years to undo errors that have already been internalised! I love getting on my high horse about these things. I remember being in an Indian restaurant and telling the waiter that lentils doesn't have an a in it! The best one was at Fleetwood market. Beautiful "satan" pyjamas were on sale! At least they were red satin!

Today I was in an area still in my home town but far away from suburbia. Not nearly as affluent but the children still had manners. Obviously, in my opinion, you can tell when a school has high standards of behaviour and the area does not matter one bit. It is a church school, however, and that can make a difference (but not in every case). Two lovely days in a school deemed satisfactory by OFSTED, where the children have manners and try their best and the curriculum is fun and challenging. The staff is hard-working and helpful too. Maybe it's the SAT's results or something that lets them down but I certainly thought it was good at least! But what would I know!

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