Friday, 26 November 2010

No news is ... no news!

The dreaded 'phone call from Ofsted did not come today ... so we know that they will not be in first thing on Monday morning. Unfortunately, this does not mean that I can re-think what I am going to do this weekend as the order to have everything ready for Monday still stands.

I did ask what will happen if:

1. We don't get the 'phone call at all next week or

2. They tell us they are coming in on Wednesday, when heavy snowfall has been forecast. (When we had heavy snow last year, we had to shut the school because we did not have enough staff ... or students.)

I got no answer. Such 'strategic' thinking only takes place at a much higher pay grade than mine ... either that, or they had not thought that far ahead and worked out an answer yet.


  1. Bob,

    Sorry to say this, but you will all probably have to keep making your "lesson plans" week after week after week ad nauseum until the finally show up.

    -- Jeff

  2. Hi Bob,

    Sounds like you have identified a good enemy faction or country for your many games.

    Ofsted, that evil menace lurking in every shadow. Able to pounce on the unwary at will. Unknown mental powers able to confuse even the most unprepared. Ofsted has been with humanity since the dawn of time. Its appearance may chance, but its unholy mission remains the same, Obfuscation, Obduration, and Obstruction.

    Beware the Ofsted.

    Can be use in:
    Weird WWI
    Weird WWII
    Post modern
    Horror - perhaps the best fit

    Yes, an opponent every gamer needs to have on the table.

    Get yours today!

    Ofsted, the evil awaits.



  3. Bluebear Jeff,

    I am sorry to say that you are probably right.

    What I find annoying about writing 'lesson plans' is that they do not actually help you plan a lesson (that is done when you construct the Scheme of Work and all the teaching materials that you will need) and you are expected to keep to them regardless of the circumstances that crop up on the day.

    For example, I may have planned a lesson about presentation skills for next Wednesday, but if it snows and only one student turns up I would not normally teach that lesson; I would do something else. But if Ofsted are in, I have been told (Yes, TOLD!!!) to teach what I have planned to teach, regardless, because if I don't, I will fail my lesson observation.

    It makes me want to weep at times ...

    All the best,


  4. Jim Wright,

    Thanks for the humorous suggestion. It made my day when I read it!

    All the best,


  5. Ofsted obviously believe that sticking to a plan through thick and thin, no matter what, is good.
    I wonder what they'd say if you plan was to have your students do group work &c., but only one turned up! [I guess it would be your fault for not having a Plan B - but wait! surely if your lesson plan contains an alternative for use if circumstances make it impossible to follow Plan A, then you ARE following your plan by using Plan B - aren't you?]
    They would do well to remember the words of an illustrious Arthur at Waterloo:
    "I have no plan; I shall be guided by circumstances."

  6. Arthur1815,

    Funny you should mention group work ... because that is one of the things I had planned to do this week!

    For some reason, it appears that people who become Ofsted inspectors have never ever read (or heard of) Clausewitz. Some years ago I misquote him to a group of inspectors and said 'that lesson plans never survive first contact with the children'; the reaction was as if I had said a very naughty word in church!

    These are supposed to have been experienced practitioners ... but they never seem to have worked in places where children/students were unwilling or unable to learn, and where sometimes you did need 'a cunning plan' just to survive.

    All the best,


    PS. I thought that you were the illustrious Arthur, not that bloke with the big nose!

  7. I always find your work related posts vaguely reminiscent of soviet russia.

  8. Conrad (or should that be Comrade) Kinch,

    That is because I work in the People's Republic of Lewisham.

    I previously working in the People's Democratic Republic of Greenwich, where I became used to the concept that anything that went well was the result of 'inspired leadership', whereas anything that went wrong was due to 'sabotage by reactionary forces'.

    The whole of the UK education system seems to be somewhat Stakhanovite in outlook. For example: ‘What do you mean, you cannot teach ICT to a class of thirty-two unmotivated, low ability students in a room with only twenty working computers? Blogg’s Selective Academy for the Gifted gets good results, and they the same number of computers for their classes of eighteen. You are failing your students because you are lazy. Work harder and the results will improve! If they don’t, you will have competence procedures taken against you.’

    (Note the interesting use of the word ‘competence’, which can be defined as being ‘the possession of the requisite knowledge, abilities, and qualities to perform a task’; surely it should be ‘incompetence’ that is proceeded against.)

    Ofsted (and HMG) have both iterated that ‘satisfactory’ is no longer good enough a grade to get for one’s teaching. It must be good or better.

    (Note the interesting use of the word ‘satisfactory’, which can be defined as ‘meeting requirements’ or ‘overall performance is consistent at expected relevant performance levels’; surely ‘unsatisfactory’ is a grade that is not good enough [or in modern parlance ‘not fit for purpose’].)

    All the best Conrad/comrade,

    To the Front (of the classroom!),


    PS. I should not call it a classroom, should I? A better cry would be ‘To the Front … of the physical learning environment!’


Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.