Mike Cladingbowl

Why ‘triple marking’ is wrong (and not my fault)

2020-05-02T22:15:05+01:00November 29th, 2014|leadership|

You can't blame celebrity edubloggers for teachers' unreasonable workloads - Albert Einstein In his indefatigable efforts to get schools and teachers to recognise that much of what is done in the name of demonstrating progress for Ofsted's benefit is a pointless waste of time, apparently, Ofsted's National Director, Mike Cladingbowl has been blaming me for inventing 'triple marking'.[i] This is an accusation I refute. As I understand it, the phenomena of 'triple marking' of goes something like this: You mark students' work They act on your marking You mark students' work again. The logic is that in responding to students' responses to [...]

My impatience with some Ofsted inspectors

2014-07-24T16:34:31+01:00July 24th, 2014|Featured|

We hope we are transparent and honest. I am very keen that the people we inspect have confidence in the quality of our inspections and the quality of our inspectors. I believe the quality of inspection and the quality of our inspectors has gone up over the last few years. Sir Michael Wilshaw I'm genuinely of the belief that Ofsted as an organisation is trying hard to put right some of the worst excesses it has been responsible for in its 21 year history. But certain attitudes make the task so much harder. Consider this from the boss: We have done more [...]

Perverse incentives and how to counter them

2014-06-09T20:14:48+01:00June 9th, 2014|leadership|

Call it what you will, incentives are what get people to work harder. Nikita Khrushchev Back in the good old days when the great unwashed could simply be shipped off to the colonies with nary a second thought, transportation of convicts was in the hands of private companies. These companies were compensated based on the number of prisoners shipped. As long as they were signed and sealed, no one cared over much if they were delivered and a depressing percentage of prisoners perished on-board these dreadful hulks. Eventually, the government, realising they were being short-changed and running the risk of running out of [...]

Ofsted: The end of the (lesson grading) affair

2014-06-04T22:11:27+01:00June 4th, 2014|Featured|

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Ralph Waldo Emerson Back in 2011 I started to decide that grading lessons was wrong. I wasn't exactly sure how to justify this decision beyond the fact that I could see how it warped teaching, made lessons unbearably superficial and put everyone thought an awful lot of completely unnecessary stress. Since then I have put together, what I feel is a pretty convincing case on why it is wrong (on every conceivable level) to grade individual lessons. In December, after sharing these views with the thoroughly charming, 'right-leaning' chaps at [...]

Should Ofsted judge 'quality of teaching'?

2014-05-26T13:23:05+01:00May 26th, 2014|Featured|

We all know, that as well as giving an overall grade, Ofsted give schools an individual judgement against 4 criteria: attainment, behaviour & safety, leadership & management, and quality of teaching. Theoretically it would possible to possible for a school to different grades for all four areas in one inspection. To my knowledge this has never happened. The correlation between some judgements is a lot stronger than others. There is fairly weak correlation between the behaviour grade or the leadership grade with a school's overall grade. It's reasonably common for schools to be awarded one grade higher than their overall grade in either of these categories. But [...]

A horror story: Does Ofsted get it wrong again?

2014-05-24T10:26:46+01:00May 23rd, 2014|Featured|

Following my the post earlier in the week on the fact that Ofsted inspectors seemingly continue to break the rule with impunity, a number of people got in touch with similar tales of woe. It certainly seems that a lot of teachers seem to be experiencing inspectors flouting the very clear instructions in the new April 2014 edition of the Inspection Handbook. Maybe someone should keep some sort of database of these instances?  I have to say that Mike Cladingbowl, the National Director of Schools seems to be doing his best to combat so-called 'rogue inspectors and yesterday tweeted this: I'd love to know [...]

Ofsted inspectors continue to do whatever they like

2014-05-21T16:34:37+01:00May 21st, 2014|Featured|

A few days a go after reading and retweeting this blog post from @cazzypot on the ongoing vagaries and inconsistencies of Ofsted, A head of MFL at a school in Hounslow got in touch to let me know how dissatisfied she was were here recent experience of the inspectorate. What follows is an edited version of the email she sent me. Ofsted visited my new school in April this year, a week after they had 'done' my previous school. Former colleagues told me of unfair grading despite the fact that inspectors have been instructed not to grade individual lessons. The first day of the inspection just came and [...]

Don't read these books!

2014-02-24T14:37:26+00:00February 24th, 2014|blogging|

You may have missed it but there was something of a spat on Twitter a few weeks back when one blogger suggested that certain books weren't worth reading. After all sorts of guff about the 'pedagogy police' was slung back and forth the dust settled, an apology was issued, and we all went on with life as before, bruised but wiser. But there was some sort of consensus that slagging off ideas wasn't very nice and that criticism should be constructive. I think. Last week, as you've probably heard, I got to meet with Ofsted's National Director of Schools, Mike Cladingbowl. [...]

Ofsted's Evaluation Form: the next skirmish!

2014-02-22T10:23:54+00:00February 22nd, 2014|Featured|

The 'do they/don't they' buggers' muddle of whether or not Ofsted inspectors are supposed to grade lessons hasn't really been put to rest. Schools' National Director, Mike Cladingbowl's attempts at clarification have only really served to underline some of the inconsistencies. The crux of the situation as it stands is that while inspectors are not supposed to judge the overall lesson "it is still possible for an inspector to record a graded evaluation on an evidence form under one or more of the four main judgement headings, including teaching". This clumsy compromise is encapsulated in the Evaluation Form used by inspectors to [...]

Are we any clearer? Ofsted explain what they do and don't do

2014-02-21T19:42:02+00:00February 21st, 2014|Featured|

The story so far... On Tuesday I, and four other education bloggers met with Ofsted's National Director of Schools Mike Cladingbowl to discuss, among other things, now and why lessons are graded by Ofsted. We were told, "Inspectors must not grade lessons," and announced this to a jubilant public. Then, questions started popping up and inconsistencies began to emerge. Various inspectors expressed their confusion about what this meant as, it transpired, Ofsted's evaluation forms (EFs) contain a box within which inspectors record a grade for teaching quality. So, what were we to believe? Were inspectors meant to grade lessons or not? [...]

What I learned from my visit to Ofsted

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

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 [...]

What inspirational teaching looks like according to Ofsted

2014-02-18T17:27:12+00:00February 18th, 2014|Featured|

So, as we know, Sir Michael Wilshaw is determined to make clear that Ofsted has no preferred teaching style. Right? Wrong. Just in case you were breaking open the Spumante to celebrate a return to common sense and autonomy, Ofsted have released a brand new example of best practice in English just so as we're all clear on exactly the type of thing inspectors are looking for. I really don't want to denigrate anything the school in question has done in order to be awarded their outstanding badge; their results speak for themselves: In 2013, 83% of the cohort gained a GCSE [...]

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