So we have had a week of Ofsted. If you live in a foreign land you may have no idea what Ofsted is, so here we go. They are a group of people who visit schools, colleges and places of training. They are government sponsored and award marks as follows 1 Outstanding, 2 Good, 3 Satisfactory and 4 Failed. The education establishment in the UK fear them.
They go into a classroom and observe for around fifty minutes in those fifty minutes they decide on the quality of the teaching. Needless to say my college received a grade 2. So we are a good college. We are the same college we were before they arrived and we remain the same college now they have gone.
To be quite honest it isn’t rocket science, they have certain criteria that has to be met. So we meet it. They want to see a lot of effort in numeracy and literacy so we do lots of it? Now, why do they want to see that?
Well my friends, the UK is now fourteenth in the world on the numeracy and literacy league.
Why is that? Because successive governments over the last 30 years have played with education to such an extent that it is now; not fit for purpose.
So now they pressurize us to turn it around. In reality they are asking us to achieve in thirty-six weeks what teachers could not achieve in eleven years because the government prevented them with their ‘blue sky’ thinking and wonderous ideas. Lincoln, Gandhi, Gladstone, Brunel, etc all started with a blackboard, easel and a thick ear when they misbehaved. Now they have computers, innovative little games and isolation as a punishment. Not one of my 14 – 18 year olds know their times table and they have the attention span of a gnat. It really is time to go back to basics.