This post appeared in the TES here. Dear Chief Inspector,
During the past two decades as a headteacher I’ve seen well over a thousand year six pupils pass through. In my present school, where I’ve been the head for eleven years, the current cohort weren’t even born when I first arrived at the school. It was especially poignant therefore to see them on their way at their leavers’ ceremony earlier this week.
One of the things that we’ve done really well across our trust has been the curriculum. And now I fear for it because Ofsted want to get their hands on it. With their relentless pursuit over the years of teaching, outcomes, standards and compliance, the curriculum has been left alone by and large.
Until not that long ago I didn’t really have a clue how to run an ITT partnership. So I did what I usually do when stuck and turned to others, namely leaders from within the trust. We locked ourselves in a room for days on end, determined that we wouldn’t come out until we cracked it. We did and we created Central England Teacher Training.
We’ve had the inspectors in. The new term was barely three hours old and we got the call. So in they came – days two and three – and they were all over us like a rash.
The chances are you may not have heard of the Whole Education Network. It’s been going strong for several years now and grew out of the RSA in 2010. If you haven’t come across them yet, then you really should have, so read on
Earlier this week at work I had to go a day without email. It’s not until you experience an ‘internet outage moment’ that you realise how reliant you’ve become on technology.
There is no such thing as rapid improvement. The two words simply don’t belong together. Rapid alterations, yes. I can live with that. Rapid change, possibly. But rapid improvement? Absolutely not.
One of the more pleasurable elements of my job is my role as a strategic board member (and chair) of a regional Arts Council Bridge Organisation. Based at the mac (formerly the Midlands Arts Centre) in Birmingham, Arts Connect is responsible for the delivery of the arts and culture offer across the region.
It’s been well over a year since I hung up my Ofsted badge. I still miss being an inspector though because it was something I think I was good at, that I enjoyed doing and that to a certain extent was something we all needed.
In my previous post I shared with you my concerns around the tensions that exist between writing a self-evaluation summary (SES) for Ofsted and writing one for yourself that focuses on school improvement.
School self-evaluation is a strange beast. There’s no requirement for schools to present it in a particular format and approaches vary up and down the country. How you go about the process is a matter for you and your governors to decide. So long as you know your school, and how it needs to improve, all will be good.