• Dave Foord
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Why I support ‘no-notice’ inspections

It was recently reported by the Guardian, that Ofsted will be moving to a no-notice method for carrying out inspections. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/10/schools-no-notice-ofsted-inspections?CMP=twt_gu  a move which I completely support.

Due to the diverse nature of my teaching in 7 years I went through 3 Ofsted inspections, 2 QAA inspections, 1 ALI inspection and god knows how many internal inspections. Perversely I actually enjoyed the lesson in which I was being inspected – the pressure and the expectation I actually thrived on (similar to when I played more sport – I loved the big occasions, and performed at my best in front of the crowds). Apart from 1 internal inspection, I always came out very well in these observed sessions.

The thing that I didn’t enjoy was the build up to the inspections. The fact that the whole college went into a form of panic in the 6 months leading up to the inspection, which dominated everything, stopped any real innovation happening (I remember being told in no uncertain terms that I had to back off the ILT stuff as there was an inspection ahead and the college had to focus on that not ILT!), and all so that we can put an unrealistic ‘show’ on for the inspectors.

I believe that no-notice inspections is the only way forward – this will give inspectors a chance to see the reality rather than the rehearsed, and weaker teachers will be identified, whilst stronger teachers rewarded, and as such – I said it many times when I was teaching, and I still stick by it now – anyone is welcome to turn up and observe me teaching or training without giving me notice.

Taken from http://farm5.static.flickr.com/7021/6515869227_fb11e682ee_b.jpg on 2012-1-11
Original URL – http://www.flickr.com/29455658@N08/6515869227/ created on 2011-07-19 11:28:46
Connecticut State LibraryCC BY-NC-SA 2.0