Monday, 29 November 2010

Ofsted are coming! Ofsted are coming! ... but we don't yet know when ... so hurry up and stand still!

After spending quite a chunk of my weekend preparing lesson plans that my line manager had, absolutely had, to see tonight at the faculty meeting (a three-line whip was in force, and no exceptions for non-attendance were being given), you can guess what happened ...

... the meeting was cancelled at just a couple of hours notice!

Why? Because the dreaded 'phone call from Ofsted to tell us that they would be arriving in forty-eight hours time was not received this morning. If they call tomorrow, the earliest they will arrive is Thursday morning ... and so the meeting has now been re-arranged for Wednesday evening, on the off-chance that Ofsted will call tomorrow.

Snow is scheduled for tonight, so there is a reasonable chance that transport in London will be disrupted tomorrow morning ... which will mean that the school will be in a state of even greater chaos than normal. It may well be that if Ofsted does telephone, there will be no one senior enough on site to receive the call.

Am I bothered?

Not really. I have been mucked about so much lately that I am beginning to cease to care. If it wasn't for the students who want to learn and the colleagues I would be letting down if I did not turn up, I doubt if I could even be bothered to get out of bed if there is snow on the ground in the morning ... but then I would not be able to play in the snow in my 4 x 4!

Things are beginning to look better already!

8 comments:

  1. We got 'done' a couple of months ago. SLT went bonkers but everyone else just did the usual, and we ended up with outstanding anyway.

    Hey ho.

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  2. Bob,
    Forgive me for asking what is proabably a stupid question, but if you teach the same subjects every year, don't you already have lesson plans that could be reused?

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  3. Leadership - Grand Old Duke of York style.
    Tim

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  4. Boggler,

    We are already under a 'Notice to improve', so we have been gradually building up to fever pitch for some time. As far as teaching and learning was concerned, last year’s inspection graded us as being better than satisfactory, but because out attendance figures were just over 85%, we were served with the ‘Notice to improve’. If we fail the forthcoming inspection, there is every likelihood that the members of the Senior Management Team will be asked to seek employment elsewhere; hence their desire to pass the inspection at all costs, including driving the teaching staff into the ground with lots of unnecessary extra work … something that they have yet to realise is actually having a counter-productive effect.

    Work-life balance … I’ve heard of it, but have yet to experience it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Mike,

    It is not a stupid question at all.

    What you suggest would be true if teachers actually taught the same subjects year after year, and the syllabi and assessment systems were not in a constant state of flux.

    This year I have been given a whole new set of BTEC units to teach and the method of assessment has changed. As a result almost all the teaching materials and assessment tasks I use have had to be written from scratch … and I was not given my teaching timetable until the day I returned to work in September, having been given an almost completely different timetable six weeks previously.

    I have been running to keep up since September, and have got ahead of the game by dint of hard work. Lesson Plans are not an Ofsted requirement but lesson planning is. I have done a lot of the latter, but the former have to be done so that my superiors can say that they have evidence that I have done planning; apparently the piles of materials I have produced are not sufficient evidence as they stand.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Tim Gow,

    None of our senior managers can even aspire to be as good as the Duke.

    They could not even find the hill, let alone lead anyone up or down it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. I remember when my father told me he was retiring from the teaching profession, he said that he had seen the best of it and was leaving before management emasculated the craft.

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  8. Conrad Kinch,

    Speaking as an educational eunuch, I have to agree with everything your father said!

    All the best,

    Bob

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