Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ofsted are coming! Ofsted are coming! ... Well, they might be ...

After a very full day of teaching, I attended the weekly faculty meeting this evening ... and was told that the senior management 'think' (they do not KNOW, only THINK) that the inspectors from Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education) we be making their long-awaited re-inspection of the school next week ... sometime! This means that we all have to have our lesson plans ready to be checked by the Head of Faculty ... on Monday.

The staff are already under considerable pressure as a result of all the additional work that they have had to do since last year's inspection ... and now they are expected to do even more. To my knowledge, there are at least four staff off work due to illness, and that several of these are stress related illnesses.

So how does all this affect me? Well, for a start, I doubt if I will be doing much in the way of wargaming over the next few days, as I will be writing lesson plans that no one is likely to look at except the Head of Faculty, and which will not actually help me to plan my lessons ... and keeping my blog up-to-date may also be very difficult.

I was looking forward to the weekend, but now ...


  1. Monty Python meets real-life and I was considering a late-life career change into teaching ... hmmm

  2. Think of it as just another version of one of the military's most time-honored traditions . . . "Hurry up and wait".

    -- Jeff

  3. Sorry about the missed time on wargaming and this blog. Looking forward to your return.

  4. My wife's a teacher so I know what your about to go through. Nothing can stress her out quite like an Ofstead Inspection. The whole process just seems so 'adversarial' and counter-productive.

    For those about to be inspected, I salute you.

  5. Dear all,

    Thanks for the support.

    I have managed to read your comments in the five minutes of break I am having between lessons. At lunchtime, after another five minutes break, I have to teach a lunchtime class for an absent colleague. I might finally be able to restore my personal comforts at about 1.30pm, after which I will be able to eat my lunch before going to teach my final class of the day. Then it will be a pleasant drive home through the London traffic, followed by a weekend of lesson planning paperwork (the lessons are planned and the learning and assessment materials are prepared, but the associated paperwork has not been done!).

    The extra work we are all doing will be worth it IF Ofsted comes next week, BUT we still have no definite news … and if they don’t come it will all have been done for nothing!

    All the best,


  6. Yes, and there will still be lots of black coal that needs to be painted white, and if the grass is not green enough can you paint it too.

    Perhaps imagining it as a wargame might help. What will Ofsted deploy, what do you need to be able to face them? What are the tactical, operational and strategic goals for both sides?

    Then you can strip off your shirt, put a red bandana on and go all Rambo with them. ;-)

  7. If you manage to read this before they come - good luck. If not - hope it went well.
    If they just left us alone to actually teach, the little bu**ers might be able to learn!

  8. Ashley and jfidz (et al),

    No phone call this morning ... which means that the earliest Ofsted will come is Tuesday (although Wednesday might be a better bet!). This gives even more time for the SMT (Senior Management Team, an oxymoron if ever I hear one) to asks us for even more stupid data analysis.

    The latest thing I have had to do is to write a report that explains why my tutor group's attendance is so poor (less than 80% last week) and what I have done about it. Well, other than the student who has left and gone back to Brazil at no notice, the one who is maternity leave having just had a baby, and the one who is in hospital, most of the rest of them have been in school and in class. I was tempted to ask for the return airfare to Brazil so that I could ask the student to return … but I think that that would have been pushing my luck. As to the new mum … well I can hardly force her to come back yet, and I baulk at dragging the hospitalised one out of bed and back to school. Writing the report – along with a separate schedule that shows what I have done to try to improve matters – took me about the same time as it would have done to mark some scripts … but they have had to go unmarked as I cannot do everything in the time available to me.

    All the best,


    It is predicted that it will snow in London on Wednesday. That will make things fun if the inspectors decide to come in on that day!