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Saturday, 05 May 2012 22:22

Headteachers condemn new OFSTED regime

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Whilst I have no claim to be an expert on OFSTED, I read OFSTED Reports regularly, and see the effect they have on schools. This may be the reason why once again you may have heard me on Radio Kent expressing my views ion Monday. Alternatively, it being a Bank Holiday, is it that Radio Kent could not get anyone from the education service to comment? As a previous President of Kent Branch National Association of Head Teachers, I have enormous sympathy with the pressures on schools, but we must put the children first. However, the new confrontational version of OFSTED.........

appears to condemn the greater part of the education service. OFSTED was originally sold to the profession as a support to teachers, and this is surely the way forward. You will find the views of the NAHT on the BBC website.  I do not believe that commercial businesses thrive where the management operates on a climate of fear, so why should schools?.  What I do believe is that headteachers do not necessarily fear for themselves, they fear for the profession, the number of good people coming forward to be headteachers, and the quality of education itself. 

Currently, I am talking to a large number of parents, preparing them for secondary admission appeals. One question I always ask is whether the children are doing anything interesting in school at present.  This is actually a silly question, as I always get a similar answer (in both state and private schools) that they are not being educated, they are just doing SATs preparation. After SATs, for most schools there is little point in trying to get back into a learning routine, so this is where the outings and special events take place. A whole summer term lost to education, and yet experts are still pondering why children slip back in their learning over the summer before  they go on to secondary schools, where they are often tested again at the start of the year to find out their capability, as the SATs outcomes are so unreliable.  

Why is this happening? Because of the fear factor now that the current OFSTED regime places such reliance on SAT results, that schools fail or get marked down if they don't indulge in this practice. 

Read 4730 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:01

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