What I learned from my visit to Ofsted

//What I learned from my visit to Ofsted

Before reporting on my impressions of the conversation Tom “behaviour guru” Bennett, Ross “the most followed teacher in the UK” McGill, Sheena “Clerk to Governor” Lewington, Tom “head guru” Sherrington and I had with Ofsted’s Director of Schools, Mike Cladingbowl, I first need to make a few things clear.

I blog about education in no capacity other than as an individual. I am beholden to no one. I have no constituency. I represent no one other than myself, and I am in no way an ambassador for the teaching profession. That said, I’ve been writing about education for almost three years and have built up something of an audience both on my blog and on Twitter. I recognise that I have influence and that brings with it a certain amount of responsibility. I try to take this responsibility seriously, but in the end I’m just a blogger with a big gob and a certain way with words. I see it as important to express my opinion and stand up for the things that I believe in. Inevitably this will upset some people. I can live with that.

So, when we were seated round the big table, Mike began by asking each of us what we were interested in discussing. Sheena said school governance and performance related pay. Tom Bennett said behaviour. Ross said communication. I said lesson observation and the role of additional inspectors acting as consultants. For those who have followed our blogs, these interests won’t have caused much in the way of raised eyebrows. (Tom S was late arriving due to being at another meeting and didn’t get to say what his particular interest was but he got happily stuck into everything which, I think, tells us a lot about his interests.)

The first thing to say is that Cladingbowl seems like an utterly reasonable man who is firmly on the side of common sense. He was refreshingly direct and, at times, reflected that he “probably shouldn’t have said that.” A man after my own heart. Standout one liner: “Anyone pedalling snake oil should be made to drink it.”

His main concern was how best Ofsted as an organisation could dispel the myths which cling to inspection. He condemned ‘mocksteds’ as unnecessary and missing the point. What child has ever benefited from a mock-inspection? We spoke about the fact that updates to guidance need to more streamlined and more clearly sign-posted, not snuck out a few days before Christmas. We spoke about the need for greater clarity when Ofsted make revisions to guidance with changes made clearly visible. And we spoke about ways Ofsted could better engage with social media and suggested an @AskOfsted Twitter account for teachers and school leaders to have concerns allayed and questions answered.

He bemoaned the fact that poor behaviour has become normalised and spoke repeatedly about ‘boiling a frog’, a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually. So gradual has our slide into the current ‘behaviour crisis’ been that we don’t know we’re in it. We discussed how the no notice, one day behaviour inspections can be used effectively to support schools. Tom Bennett pointed out that these inspections are to be effective, they must take into account the views of the silent majority of children, not just the oiks who experience the sharpness of a school’s teeth and they must also canvas the views of NQTs and supply teachers. The behaviour you experience can be very different depending on your status or tenure.

On the subject of lesson grading, he said, boldly, categorically and unequivocally that inspectors should not be grading individual lessons, and they should not be arriving at a judgment for teaching and learning by aggregating lesson grades. This is huge. I’ve gone on record as saying “Ofsted will no longer grade lessons with a maximum of three years.” I was wrong! Ofsted will no longer grade lesson as from now! And further: if schools experience an inspector who fails to tow this line he want to know about it. I told him about my encounter with a rogue inspector and he made it clear that he wants to reign in the excesses of additional inspectors who also work as consultants. The message was clear: if you hear an inspector advising teachers to teach in a particular way, he wants to hear about it.

I didn’t get the chance to bang my drum about the invalidity of lesson grading or repeat my ‘learning is invisible’ mantra, as all this rather took the wind out of my righteous sails. This is definitely a discussion I’d like to have in more detail if given the opportunity.

We chewed over the problems of performance related pay and how, in most schools, this has been tied to the grading of individual lessons. The oft made claim that the ‘requires improvement’ grade has raised standards was also challenged. Tom Sherrington reminded us that all teachers and all schools need to improve, no matter how good they are. Just confining improvement to those who don’t make the grade is a potential and troubling weakness in the system.

There’s a lot of work to be done. Only this morning Lead Inspector, Heather Leatt pointed out on Twitter that the guidance to inspectors is far from clear on the subject of lesson grading. Cladingbowl said that the pro forma used by inspectors does not include a space to make a judgement on individual lessons. Heather said that as far as she was concerned lesson grades appear to be required on EFs. Whilst there is guidance elsewhere which makes it clear this judgement is ‘over time’ the fact that there is a need to award this grade at all is highly misleading. Heather points out that many teachers just don’t believe that it’s not a grade for their lesson. This requires urgent clarification.

She also pointed out this section from the Inspection Handbook:


The obvious inference is that if inspectors must not argue that they are unable to give a particular grade because of time spent in a lesson, then they must be expected to give a grade. Heather’s point was that if she, as a Lead Inspector is confused, what hope is there for teachers and school leaders on the ground? Mike acknowledged the confusion and said that further amendment was needed and would be forthcoming.

This is all positive. Ofsted want to be better. They are listening. It’ll probably never be fun to be inspected but maybe, some day soon, they’ll no longer be the blight they have been.

Looking forward:

We have tentatively agreed that a further meeting would be a positive step. Several of us raised the glaring absence of the education blogger most synonymous with holding Ofsted to account. Like Banquo’s ghost, Old Andrew palpably haunted the meeting somewhat. We were told that Ofsted were wary of engaging with anonymous bloggers but now that Andrew has revealed his secret identity in a recent Radio 4 interview maybe they can see their way clear to inviting him (and very possibly others) next time.

Also, the biscuits require improvement.

Related posts

Ross McGill’s write-up: An edu-blogger mandate for @OfstedNews
Tom Bennett’s account: Meet the Fockers: Ofsted talks to the bloggers
The long view from Tom Sherrington: Meeting OfSTED: The Game has Changed
And finally… Sheena Lewington’s marvellously poetic summing up: The Journey of the Blogi


2014-02-21T16:26:14+00:00February 19th, 2014|blogging|


  1. […] Read more… […]

  2. […] 19.2.14: Here is @LearningSpy’s update: What I’ve learnt from my visit to Ofsted. […]

  3. Neil Williams February 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Hi David,

    I posted this on @teachertoolkit’s blog but think it is relevant here as well…


    Hi Ross,

    Inspectors give three grades typically following a “lesson observation”. However, the phrase used is that this is based on the “sample of learning” observed. For example one might say “the achievement in that sample was good because students made good progress as a consequence of good teaching; behaviour was good as students consistently displayed positive attitudes.” So essentially Ofsted have never given grades for lesson observations and this is made clear in the additional inspector training. I can see however, that for many this will be a case of semantics rather than a real difference. I suppose my question in relation to point 4 above is are Ofsted actually offering anything different here?

    • David Didau February 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Are Ofsted offering something different? All I can tell you is that Mike Cladingbowl said, inspectors should not give grades for individual lessons. We probed this a bit but didn’t raise the specific point you make. However, he did go on to say that if an inspector grades a lesson during an inspection, then the school or teacher involved should report the inspector to him. That seemed pretty clear.

  4. […] Read more on The Learning Spy… […]

  5. Debbie Hepplewhite February 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    I have described on other blogs how Mr Cladingbowl has had very detailed, and sustained feedback and complaint about the presence of Ofsted video footage (a year-long toing and froing) which is seriously in danger of misleading teachers -and, arguably, gives a distinct steer on Ofsted ‘approval’ of certain types of teaching – despite Sir Michael Wilshaw’s specific guidance to Ofsted inspectors to do otherwise.

    Mr Cladingbowl’s responses have not been rational as he says the footage has been ‘well-received’ in conferences and for Ofsted training and are accompanied by the suggestion they should be viewed with “a critical eye” There is no such warning, however, on the Ofsted site for teachers and consultants viewing the videos. He has afforded a group of 6 of us considerable time over this matter (and others no doubt) – but it has been a waste of our time and presumably his.

    The description you provide of Mr Cladingbowl being interested in feedback is not in our experience and he did not respond specifically to our question regarding Ofsted’s remit in terms of providing reports and video footage of apparent ‘good practice’ – but which we have advised him is dangerously misleading and undermining our own specialist guidance.

    This all fits in completely with the ongoing national debate regarding Ofsted’s apparent tendency towards favouring progressive lessons for learners of all ages – thus potentially skewing teachers’ planning and provision.

    The suggestion from many bloggers is that inspectors are not working within Sir Michael Wilshaw’s specific remit and ours is surely a case in point.

    A formal complaint about Ofsted’s responses to Michael Gove was handed right back to Michael Cladingbowl – to the same end of no accountability.

    Warm regards,


    • David Didau February 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      This sounds bad and, if we meet again I’ll be sure to bring it up.

      • Debbie Hepplewhite February 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

        Thank you, that would be appreciated.

        I have no doubt at all that you, and others, are putting serious pressure on Ofsted with the potential to make a difference – but for real change, we need more evidence than just a few last minute changes in some pre-Christmas Ofsted report-wording.

        I know of many teachers/schools under considerable, miserable pressure – and life is too darned short for all this unhappiness. I would have no qualms advising teachers in such scenarios to simply leave as soon as they can – there’s no upwards accountability in the teaching profession and this is fundamentally a wrong state of affairs.

        There can be no doubt that I work hard, as do others, in terms of aiming to raise standards of both teaching and learning – but, this can be accomplished in a supportive and collegial manner – not through a judgemental system which quite clearly is lacking in humanity.

        Michael Cladingbowl and Michael Wilshaw need to demonstrate that they are truly open to reform and acknowledge their accountability for skewing provision by teachers.

        Kind regards,


  6. Philip Mooney February 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Firstly David, your (almost) self-deprecating opening is unnecessary. If people don’t like what you say they can unfollow etc…
    I was struck by this:

    “We discussed how the no notice, one day behaviour inspections can be used effectively to support schools. Tom Bennett pointed out that these inspections are to be effective, they must take into account the views of the silent majority of children, not just the oiks who experience the sharpness of a school’s teeth and they must also canvas the views of NQTs and supply teachers. The behaviour you experience can be very different depending on your status or tenure”

    I have been conducting a mini campaign on this issue stemming from a specific experience at my school Cardinal Allen. Whilst on the one hand I can see that generally if a school feels confident about behaviour, then why should it be worried about CDI (an acronym which is relatively new to me- Complaint Driven Inspection)?

    I suspect that in schools which have to have excellent systems & persons for maintaining/improving behaviour but are located in areas of acute deprivation will constantly come up against parents who disagree with any tough stance adopted. The “straight to the top” model must be flawed and it was interesting to read yesterday’s announcement that CDI’s in Early Years settings were to be stopped. How long before the light is seen across the system? I know of a local Primary School that was inspected and the HT had not even been informed of the complaint by the parent.

    Keep up the good work.

    PMO (@htphil)

  7. Elizabeth Nonweiler February 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I am one of the six Debbie describes, who has been challenging Ofsted over films of phonics lessons on the Ofsted website. Michael Cladingbowl spent considerable time talking to me and writing to me and at first he seemed to me to be as David wrote: a “reasonable man who is firmly on the side of common sense”. I was hopeful that he would respond helpfully to my concerns, but after more than a year with unsatisfactory letters including a lot of repetition, I am feeling disappointed.

    I support all that Debbie has said, except that the lessons in the films are anything but progressive.

    Definition of progressive: developing in stages or favouring social reform

    Some of the films show the results of good teaching, but not the lessons that produced the results. They do not show development or progression.

    The films do not favour social reform. Instead, they show the kind of integrated indirect teaching that has been promoted for more than thirty years. For example, one of the lessons takes place outside with a parachute. The children are not all involved in learning to read and write most of the time. Nor is the time well used for physical education or to learn about co-operation, which parachutes are good for. As someone who wants reform of the teaching of reading, I promote routine interactive lessons that efficiently cover the core skills of basic reading and writing, and where every child is involved in learning those skills all the time, as far as possible.

    Michael Cladingbowl wrote, “… inspectors must focus on children’s achievement and may not advocate anyone preferred methodology.” By showing these films, Ofsted appears to be advocating a preferred methodology.

  8. […] and providing us with alternative options. It was further encouraging to read this week in David’s blog that (a) Ofsted are listening to educational bloggers and (b) that Ofsted have now ruled that […]

  9. […] What I learned from my visit to Ofsted […]

  10. Vicki Long February 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Inspectors grade individual lessons, the EF’s ARE designed for that purpose, AI training explains how to use EF’s to do just that. There’s a lot that’s rotten in the state of Ofsted if Cladingbowl truly doesn’t see that.

    • David Didau February 19, 2014 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Well, seeing as he’s in charge I have to hope that he must be at least partially aware. He reiterated this point on Twitter this morning and promised further clarification for AIs who had been trained incorrectly.

      Are you suggesting that he’s mistaken or just fobbing us off?

  11. Kevin McLaughlin February 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    From what I can see on Twitter there’s a slight brew on the stove concerning no Primary or EYFS representation at this Ofsted meeting. Yet from what I read from your blog, Ross’ and Tom’s, there is more than ample information that anyone within the education sector can refer to and view positively.
    Many thanks to you all for representing our voices.

    • David Didau February 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kevin.

      There was no mention of particular sectors or phases at any time. Maybe this is a good thing?

      Also, there were no black bloggers. Are Ofsted racist?

      • Kevin McLaughlin February 19, 2014 at 9:22 pm - Reply

        Where the Irish represented????
        I’m guessing some just want to know they are represented by their own kind rather by others. And there I was thinking we were all teachers in it together 😉
        By not mentioning sectors or phases I view this as a meeting that encompassed the entire education sector.

        • Danielle February 19, 2014 at 11:30 pm - Reply

          I was observed by OFSTED yesterday, was told I could receive feedback at designated time- went for feedback, was told my lesson was graded as a ‘2’ and why. Everybody else observed offered same opportunity! Certainly in need of clarification!

          • Karen Tivey February 20, 2014 at 8:32 am

            Very confusing. Yes Ofsted last week – all lessons graded and a summary of how many of each of the the grades for all 39 lessons observed!! Certainly not clear or consistent.

          • David Didau February 20, 2014 at 8:37 am

            This needs to be fedback to Cladingbowl et al – he says he wants to know and hold these inspectors to account.

  12. […] David Diday @learningspy What I learned from my visit to Ofsted […]

  13. chemistrypoet February 20, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I would reiterate….Ofsted, in its current form, is not capable of reforming to generate the body schools want. Current practice in the organisation is too ingrained, a complete rethink is required as it is clear that the current Ofsted has not paid enough attention to the effects it has on schools, and it is still attempting to suggest that such effects are the fault of weak SLT (they are not, they are a direct result of the current system). Also, individual teachers are not the root cause of weaknesses in the system.

    However, this meeting, and others recently, are the first step of the required reform. Just removing the graded observation (really removing it), will have a very positive effect on morale.

  14. […] It seems that the haste extends beyonds the bounds of the department, too. Much has been said in the last couple of days about the meeting of some well-known bloggers with officials from Ofsted. As David Didau posted in his blog on the meeting: […]

  15. dodiscimus February 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Recent lesson observations of NQTs as part of Ofsted inspection of their HEI Initial Teacher Education provider have definitely all been graded.

  16. Terry Pearson February 21, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Maybe Mike Cladingbowl will end up drinking his own snake oil. Poor inspection practice has indeed become normalised inspection practice, particularly when it comes to lesson observation. Judgemental lesson observations, of the type used by Ofsted, are an inappropriate method of collecting trustworthy data to inform inspection findings. This was known long before Ofsted came into being yet the fundamental process of Ofsted lesson observation has changed very little since it came into being.

    Granted we have witnessed changes to the number of grades in the rating scale and changes to the descriptors used alongside those grades. There have been some amendments to the standards cited in inspection guidance and we have seen a change in emphasis attached to lesson planning, assessment and a host of specific elements such as equality and diversity, safety, learner enjoyment to name only a few. Nonetheless these changes amount to nothing more than adjustments to Ofsted’s model of lesson observation.

    Each day of the academic year teachers and managers in a large number of schools are faced with an approach to lesson observation which is in essence the same as that experienced by their colleagues more than twenty years ago. An observer watches part of a lesson, gathers information in relation to a set of evaluative criteria, provides feedback about judgements of strengths and weaknesses made during the observation and awards a grade to what has been seen.

    This methodology is supposed to raise standards of teaching in classrooms. Yet, there is little, if any, publicly available evidence to show it does so. There is nevertheless, plenty of evidence to show how this approach is feared by many teachers, more often than not is divisive and demoralising for many teachers and is open to punitive execution demonstrated by the distribution of rewards and sanctions. There is also plenty of research to show how judgements made during this type of observation cannot be relied upon.

    What is most striking to me is that Ofsted has not made any real attempt over the last two decades to address these areas of concern. Surely Ofsted are more than a bunch of frogs submerged in water which is gradually heating up and will soon reach boiling point!

    • David Didau February 21, 2014 at 10:12 am - Reply

      I’m right there with you brother! I’ve written extensively about the problems with classroom observation and will not rest until it is fundamentally reformed.

      • Terry Pearson February 21, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

        The concerns about grading lesson observations have been around since Ofsted began its work. To focus on these alone is a distraction from the elementary problems of Ofsted inspection methodology. Lessons should never have been graded, parts of lessons should never have been graded, but more to the point judgemental lesson observations should never have been a part of Ofsted’s inspection procedures. During Ofsted inspections, grading of lessons or part of lessons MUST no longer take place AND judgemental lesson observations MUST no longer take place.

        There is place for lesson observation in inspection systems but not of the type currently used by Ofsted. Although Ofsted makes a noise about the importance of triangulating evidence in its work, at present Ofsted doesn’t triangulate data from lesson observations very well. Until we get a clear picture of Ofsted’s understanding of triangulation it is difficult to determine what kind of lesson observations are best suited to Ofsted inspections.

  17. Debbie Hepplewhite February 21, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    To me what is utterly shocking is the continuance of the type of lesson observation regime and inspection regime as described above that has clearly been an unjust and negative experience for so many teachers for so long. I wrote about this in ‘Teaching and Learning ‘ in 2006 and labelled it ‘stealth inspection’ when conducted by within-school colleagues.

    How can so many of our senior leaders and head teachers have gone along with this, and for so long, when they themselves have directly caused or witnessed the demoralisation, depression, destruction to confidence and health, possibly to career, of teacher after teacher.

    We have also seen destruction of many head teachers.

    This has, without doubt, had negative consequences for so many of the pupils and their families too.

    Right now I know of schools with considerable game-playing where very good, and new to the school, teachers are being driven out having only just taken up these new appointments knowing that they were walking into challenging contexts. Clearly they were ‘up for it’. These teachers have been recognised by both young pupils and their parents as being very good teachers and the parents ask the questions of senior management as to what is being done to keep these teachers in the (challenging) schools.

    Nothing – quite simply – because it is often in such schools that considerable politics is taking place (particularly, no doubt, nowadays where there are power struggles between local authorities and government re change to academies) – the teachers themselves are just cannon fodder.

    What I am trying to say is that people have done this to one another within a profession which is supposed to be a truly caring profession. So where is the care?

    One may argue, well this is all about improvements in teaching for the pupils.

    And of course I agree that we need to improve teaching and learning opportunities for pupils. That’s what I’m about.

    But this is not best done by battering down the teachers (and headteachers) themselves through our draconian lesson observation and inspection system.

    There are many other ways to work towards, indeed ‘ensure’, that teaching and learning opportunities and teachers’ and pupils’ experiences improve in our schools – ideas abound on the blogs as bloggers know.

    I mention again this notion of ‘upwards accountability’ and the fact that this is missing in practical ways in our teaching profession.

    How, for example, does one really hold to account either the individuals who cause untold anxiety for teachers within schools – and systems which cause untold anxiety on a national scale?

    I have mentioned briefly, for example, that even when people go to great lengths at a professional level with a concern or a complaint, the judge and jury consists of the highest-perceived ‘authority figure’ – or so it seems.

    Now, my view is that all these people in authority – such as inspectors, politicians, ministers – they are supposed to be in their roles to represent ‘the people’ and ‘in service’ to the people.

    But, their self-perception, and perhaps their reality and the perception of the people – is that they are ‘above’ the people, in authority over them – that we have to go cap in hand to them.

    But don’t you see that it is, in effect, the other way around.

    Those ‘in authority’ in a so-called democracy, should consider that they are in a privileged position representing the interests of ‘the people’ of the nation.

    OK – I really am pontificating now – but these perceptions are no small thing in my book of humanity.

    Just to clarify – I am not justifying poor levels of teaching (and learning) – there are situations where some people, no matter what the support or training they have had, may never make good-enough teachers (or headteachers, or inspectors etc).

    So, we cannot turn a blind eye to them and allow them to diminish the educational experiences of the pupils.

    But, the immediate concern is the national failure of our inspection system which has led to tiers of, for example, ‘mocksteds’ and ‘stealth inspection’ – at a vast waste of public money (I have no doubt about that) and at the expense of much health and welfare of so many.

    This is not appropriate for any teacher.

    So, less of the cap-in-hand ‘isn’t it amazing that Osted has spoken to these bloggers’ (and yes it is but Ofsted has to address the intense misery described in the public domain – it’s ABOUT TIME) – and more of radical change in our SUPPORT for schools and accountability systems.

    This truly is, surely, NATIONAL debate time – and all teachers need to have their say – not just through unions and representatives – but in each and every school.

    EVERY school should be invited to hold staff discussions and summarise their experiences and findings to date OF EVERY TEACHER AND HEADTEACHER not just representatives – and then share and offer their solutions.

    Now that would be interesting if every teacher tackled this rationally, professionally – and didn’t just slink away into their staff rooms and homes thinking there is nothing that they can do to change things.

    Warm regards,


  18. John Pearce (@JohnPearce_JP) February 21, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Hi David, Well done all….. A quick reply that became longer and I will work up as a BLOG…

    There is no doubt in my mind that what the Famous Five achieved in “Ofsted Grade-gate” is a real break-through. Certainly we need to reiterate, promote and further interpret the statements made by Mike Cladingbowl. Well done all! I have read all your blogs with real interest and, to be honest joy! I, and others, have been trudging this trail for a long time and it is wonderful to see over the coll.
    So, I just want to clarify what I am reading into this, because, from this point it is all about how we interpret what has been agreed, or set in place. Can I check these thoughts David? There is no hint of cynicism here, I am not being negative, I just want to make sure we move forward and some interpretations seem a little wild e.g. “no more grading…”

    1. No one is saying no judgements about teaching and learning…indeed no-one is saying no grading of teaching and learning (in the sense that a level e.g Inadequate – Outstanding) What is being agreed is, that no grading of individual lessons will be sanctioned in future.
    2. So, how the eventual description/grade/judgement about teaching and learning is arrived at (in a report/visit) will be critical and the various statements about this being far more finessed and a triangulation between what is observed + work scrutiny + student/teacher interview + results analysis etc is to be applauded. I call this the nous of the professional – who computes the myriad of local factors into an overall judgement.
    3. Moving some of the current practice in terms of Lesson Observation forms (with grades) and inspector practice will, as you say, take a long time. Learned behaviours will stick and this will be like turning round the proverbial oil tanker. We will the need the whistle blowing tug-boats, to nudge and barge this practice into line. Any systematic collection of practice and the AskOfsted idea, plus the Blogs of intelligent professionals will play their part.
    4. An immediate issue will be the tendency of some, in this year of Performance Management, PRP, to use the Data based School Administration Systems, to collate the Lesson Grades form internal observations into one grade and use this to assess pay grades. Heads,Teachers and Unions must be watchful in this regard – Does it follow (from this new ruling) that teachers can require that all grading of their lesson observations be removed form school databases?

    Finally, many have been obsessed with the grading/judgment issue, to the extent that when others (OK I mean me) have argued two other key points they have been studiously ignored..

    5. My first is that it is who makes the judgement (applies the overall grade) that really matters. We ought to be promoting a professional development, or capacity building QA model. Therefore it should be the learner…be it a teacher, head, governor who speaks to make and justify their judgement and then the observer. colleague/coach/mentor/consultant 9even inspector’s) role is to validate this self-evaluation. It is through the ensuing dialogue that we learn and progress.
    6. And can we please, please move on from the issue of making the judgement – even with this wonderful breakthrough to the really important issue which is, “So what?” I have often quoted Schmitt, “Hey I am drowning here and all you are doing is describing the water!” We need to analyse why things are as they are and act to maintain, sustain and progress… It is not the judgement stupid – it’s the action that flows from it that matters…

    Dare I say that is why I developed the abacus approach to school improvement in 2004 and why The iAbacus works how it does…. it was designed to fit this very breakthrough….

  19. […] David Didau: What I learned from my visit to Ofsted […]

  20. […] my rehashing those things now. Read their excellent accounts here: Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit), David Didau (@LearningSpy), Tom Bennett / his second report (@TomBennett71) and Tom Sherrington […]

  21. […] and @clerktogoverner – see here – and take the time to read the equivalent posts by @learningspy and @teachertoolkit. Although only a couple of high profile events in social media terms, they […]

  22. […] post follows on from the excellent accounts from David Didau (@LearningSpy)  and Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) about our meeting with Mike Cladingbowl at OfSTED HQ on Tuesday […]

  23. […] What I learned from my visit to Ofsted […]

  24. […] week, as you’ve probably heard, I got to meet with Ofsted’s National Director of Schools, Mike Cladingbowl. At one point during the discussion on Ofsted not having a preferred teaching style he asked, his […]

  25. […] week, as you’ve probably heard, I got to meet with Ofsted’s National Director of Schools, Mike Cladingbowl. At one point during the discussion on Ofsted not having a preferred teaching style he asked, his […]

  26. […] David Didau – @LearningSpy: What I’ve learnt from my visit to Ofsted. […]

  27. […] a meeting with various bloggers (read accounts of this meeting by Tom Sherrington, David Didau, Shena Lewington, and Ross McGill) – after which graded observations were pronounced dead […]

  28. […] grade lessons? @teachertoolkit An edu-blogger mandate @tombennett71 Meet the Fockers @learningspy What I learned from Ofsted @mikecladingbowl Why do Ofsted inspectors observe individual lessons and how do they evaluate […]

  29. […] blogger, David Didau, has written several posts on this subject which you can read here, here, here, here, and […]

  30. […] David Didau […]

  31. […] with a number of grassroots initiatives that look as if they are influencing policy for example a few high profile Tweachers meeting with Ofsed and the Headteachers Roundtable […]

  32. […] What I learned from my visit to Ofsted Are we any clearer? Ofsted explain what they do and don’t do Ofsted’s Evaluation Form: the next skirmish!  […]

  33. […] the watchmen: Is Ofsted fit for purpose? What I learned from my visit to Ofsted Still grading lessons? A triumph of experience over […]

  34. […] In February, I was invited to Ofsted HQ to discuss, amongst others things, lesson grading and was told that inspectors haven’t been grading lessons since 2009. This came as something of a surprise, but was welcome none the less. […]

  35. […] February was a high point with over 75,000 views. This coincided with my visit to Ofsted but the post I wrote about that hasn’t even made the top ten. Go […]

  36. […] a number of grassroots initiatives that look as if they are influencing policy for example a few high profile Tweachers meeting with Ofsed and the Headteachers […]

  37. […] What I learned from my visit to OFSTED […]

  38. […] Sherrington David Didao Ross McGill Tom Bennet Shena Lewington Andrew Old Naureen Khalid Cherryl Kd Stephen Tierney Chris […]

  39. […] I began writing this, David Didau, Ross McGill and Tom Sherrington have published blogs following their meeting with Mike […]

  40. […] For more information on OFSTED check out: Headguruteacher: OFSTED Outstanding?, The Guardian: New Guidelines for Teachers and finally: What I learned from OFSTED […]

  41. Ook | OFSTED and Book Marking April 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    […] For more information on OFSTED check out: Headguruteacher: OFSTED Outstanding?, The Guardian: New Guidelines for Teachers and finally: What I learned from OFSTED […]

  42. […] In his blog post about the meeting, David Didau claims that Cladingbowl “began by asking each of us what we were interested in discussing”. There was no hidden agenda? No political motivation for the meeting? Was this really an attempt by the inspectorate to engage with the profession? […]

  43. The Journey of the Blogi | reversals January 23, 2016 at 11:41 am - Reply

    […] my rehashing those things now. Read their excellent accounts here: Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit), David Didau (@LearningSpy), Tom Bennett / his second report (@TomBennett71) and Tom Sherrington […]

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