Have I just been insulted by the head of Ofsted?
Spielman: Teachers ‘reduced to data managers’
Teachers have been reduced to “data managers” instead of “experts in their field”, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman will argue today. “I don’t know a single teacher who went into teaching to get the perfect Progress 8 score (a measure of pupil progress),” she will tell a schools conference in Newcastle this morning.
I see her point, though that’s unfortunate paraphrasing from TES. The Guardian’s version, after the speech actually took place, also has the line ‘reduced teachers to the status of “data managers”.’
Here’s the full, less patronising, quote, with no reduction to be seen.
Amanda Spielman speech to the SCHOOLS NorthEast summit
The bottom line is that we must make sure that we, as an inspectorate, complement rather than intensify performance data, because our curriculum research and a vast amount of sector feedback have told us that a focus on performance data is coming at the expense of what is taught in schools.
A new focus on substance should change that, bringing the inspection conversation back to the substance of young people’s learning and treating teachers like the experts in their field, not just data managers. I don’t know a single teacher who went into teaching to get the perfect progress 8 score. They go into it because they love what they teach and want children to love it too. That is where the inspection conversation should start and with the new framework, we have an opportunity to do just that.
And here’s another write-up, that doesn’t mention us data managers at all.
Spielman: Focus on substance over outcomes will help tackle workload
The chief inspector said she did not think there was an “appetite to revive the inspection model of 20 years ago”, but that the new framework, which will come into effect next September, will build on some of the “strengths” of the current system, “especially letting leaders tell their own story”.
“I also want to rebalance inspector time usage so that more time is spent on site, having those professional conversations with leaders and teachers, with less time away from schools and colleges in pre and post-inspection activity.”
A very interesting read about the need to move away from Ofsted grades.
Five reasons to ditch Ofsted grades
I reckon that in 50 years time, we will look back at the current Ofsted-grading era as one of the big educational blackspots of history. Serious educationalists and policy makers will laugh in knowing horror … at the extraordinary folly of a defunct inspection regime that involved sending a tiny team of people to schools they’d never been to before for a day or two to evaluate them against a massively long list of criteria and give them an overall one-word judgement. All of this while also projecting a national illusion that these judgements made by different people were fair, accurate, reliable and consistent across time and across the nation. And all of that alongside the delusion that this actually made for an ever-improving education system. Ho ho.
5. Every School Requires Improvement. Finally, isn’t this just the most obvious thing; all schools require improvement. Wouldn’t it just be so much better if we took all the labels off the reports, forced people to read them and left all schools with a record of their areas of strength and areas for development? Sure, we need a category for ‘below the line’ – and a separate process for dealing with urgent safeguarding failures – but even here I would argue that it should be called something that suggested maximum support was on its way, recognising the challenges at work – not the pejorative Jack Boots of ‘inadequate’ that just kicks everyone in the teeth.
Thoughts on managing variability: School’s own data in the Ofsted inspection data dashboard
“To try to overcome some of these issues while still presenting the data in a format very similar to the official dashboard I have thrown together a spreadsheet that emulates the Ofsted layout as much as I can (given Excel’s limitations).”
This looks like a really useful resource, but I think I’ll need a fair amount of time to get my head round it all.
Watchsted – the latest Ofsted inspections
”We created the inspections map for people to visualise the latest inspections schools, children’s centres and early years establishments all over the country. The map contains a simple view of each inspection’s summary grades and a quick link to the provider on the Ofsted website.”
And here’s another approach.
How I track Ofsted
“This is something I used to do for the LA and often end up doing for HTs when they ask me “what are Ofsted up to? Will we be next?”. Obviously we don’t really know who will “be next” but this method has proved to be fairly accurate so I thought it was worth sharing here.”