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The OFSTED Discussion

James (26) is a Primary Teacher working through Protocol Education Nottingham. Today he adds to the OFSTED discussion and asks for your thoughts...


The OFSTED Discussion

Since I became a fully qualified teacher in 2008 the topic of OFSTED has been discussed almost every time I have set foot in the staff room. It seems like everyone has an opinion on OFSTED and I would be lying if I said most of these were positive. In fact, nearly all of the teacher opinion I have heard takes the form of negative feelings towards the current system or, at best, ideas for major improvements.

Now it is clear that schools need regular monitoring and evaluation. Without some sort of outside and independent monitoring it is almost guaranteed that standards would fall. OFSTED ensures the curriculum is observed properly and that teachers are providing the best learning environment for all students. However, many teachers think that the system 'goes too far',making it impossible to add your personal teaching style to the classroom.

As a result of seemingly having to have absolutely everything you do documented, I can honestly say that the paperwork and 'tick-boxing' has got out of control. Teachers are spending more time completing often unnecessary paperwork than thinking about the actual students. The administrative pressure and stress put on teachers is massive - especially when you think that teachers don't receive huge salaries.

In my opinion teaching takes the term 'full time job' to the next level. Paperwork 'just for the case of ticking imaginary boxes' means that evenings and weekends are taken over completely.

My biggest concern about OFSTED though are their actual visits. Surely for these visits to be effective and honest the inspectors should turn up without notice? This would be the only way of giving an honest reflection of how a school is doing on a day-to-day basis. If you are given weeks of notice that OFSTED inspectors are coming then you can easily make a 'failing' or 'satisfactory' school appear to be a 'good' school in many of the areas that are assessed by the inspectors. You would get to see how a teacher performs on an 'average' day, instead of when they have rehearsed their observation lesson a hundred times.

As always, I would love to hear what readers think of the issues I have raised. How do you think the OFSTED system could be improved?



Tags: James, OFSTED, Secondary, Supply Teacher, Teach in Nottingham, Protocol Education, UK Education System

Category: Australian Teachers

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