Thursday, 25 August 2011

Ofsted part 6: How could a purpose-led inspectorate effectively identify and eliminate unacceptable practice? (part 2)

In part 5 of this section of my blog I pointed out that there could be considered to be two contexts in which a purpose-led inspectorate may need to intervene to protect against unacceptable standards.

The first (where specific issues have arisen which do not raise concerns about the leadership at the school) I considered in part 5.   In this section I shall consider:

What happens in cases where there is concern regarding the leadership at a school?

One of the most important ways in which our children can be protected from unacceptable standards in education is by planning to ensure that headteachers who are not performing well are replaced.

Dealing with this issue is extremely difficult and complex, as the same headteacher behaviour may be productive at one school and destructive at another.

It is also natural that the style of leadership exhibited by a headteacher and the decisions they make will not suit all parties at all times.  Such alienated parties may raise concerns which are sincere, but when should they be deemed to require the replacement of the head and when should the head be endorsed despite the concerns raised?

Despite these very difficult issues, the replacement of failing headteachers should be one of the functions of a purpose-led education inspectorate if one of its purposes is to protect against unsatisfactory standards in education.

It is therefore absolutely essentials that inspectors are exceptionally credible to the member of the school community they are inspecting.  They should be credible headteachers with substantial experience which is relevant to the type of school they are inspecting.  Inspection should be a natural options for career progressions for a well reputed headteacher who is seeking to move from full time work to part time work in the later stages of their career.

Consideration of the issues here leads to the conclusion that there will be instances where it is necessary for inspectors to monitor and mentor schools over a period of time.  Questions also arise as to who would be responsible for supporting an incoming replacement head given the current uncertainty regarding the provision of local authorities.

In part 7 of this section of my blog I will consider how a purpose-led education inspectorate body could deliver on the purpose of:
      2.   Ensuring that schools are working in a professional way to improve the quality of their provision
In part 8 I will consider how the purpose of:
3.   Reporting on what is going on in schools / the quality of provision.

1 comment:

  1. In all Ofsted inspections I've experienced, some of the inspectors have never taught and the rest haven't taught regularly for a number of years. The "maths specialist" on my last inspection had never actually taught! Having ex-headteachers judge management is fine, but you need teachers judging teachers as they actually hacve some awareness of what it currently takes to be a teacher.