Before I retired as a teacher in 2003 we were given a certain amount of notice, warning us that we were to have a visit from OFSTED.
Nonetheless, it was extremely stressful and, to a large extent, a waste of time.
We spent weeks preparing documentation... valuable time that would have been better spent on lesson preparation.
When the dreaded OFSTED team finally arrived, we, experienced teachers as well as young ones, were nervous wrecks... unnecessarily but inevitably so.
One student actually said to me, “Chill out, miss, it’ll be all right.”
The inspector, a very nice lady who was ‘happy to be out of the classroom’ said to me: “Tell me all the good things.”
Her report was, more or less, word for word, what I had told her.
I am sure that the reason for this is the fact that a school cannot be judged on a short inspection.
One needs to be there all the time to assess its merits (or problems).
Teaching is a wonderful job but it’s hard and the pressures can be great.
What teachers need is support, not criticism.
Money would be far better spent on employing more teachers, not on OFSTED inspectors.
And as for employing a former merchant banker to be head of OFSTED! How can teachers have faith in such a system? No wonder morale is so low.
My philosophy over many years in education was always, “Just teach the kids.”
This is hardly rocket science, I know, but simply what educators should have the freedom to do.
Ringinglow Road, Sheffield 11