Sean Harford

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Are Ofsted punishing disadvantaged children by penalising three-year GCSE courses?

2020-01-15T10:30:17+00:00January 14th, 2020|curriculum|

Is a broad and balanced curriculum "middle class"? According to an article published in The Times, Sir Daniel Moynihan, CEO of the Harris Federation, has described Ofsted's new inspection framework as "a middle-class framework for middle-class kids” because "Ofsted is valuing curriculum over qualifications." Currently, there is a great deal of fear that inspectors have been briefed to penalise schools - like those in the Harris Federation - where students spend 3 three years studying for GCSEs instead of the more usual 2 years. According to Moynihan, spending an additional year studying a full range of subjects before the inevitable narrowing [...]

Ofsted inspections to be higher stakes: for inspectors!

2015-05-29T06:49:48+01:00May 28th, 2015|Featured|

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mathew 7:7 Sometimes life takes a surreal twist. In January 2014 I predicted Ofsted would stop grading lessons within a maximum of two years. I was wrong. Grades had been scrapped by June the same yearGrades had been scrapped by June the same year! I then got a call from Sean Harford to cast eye over the new Inspection Handbook and was stunned to find that all my advice had been taken on board. Now today, after suggesting for [...]

Ofsted's new Inspection Handbook – a cause for celebration

2014-07-30T22:19:04+01:00July 30th, 2014|Featured|

As detailed by Old Andrew here, I attended a meeting with the new National Director for Schools Policy, Sean Harford in Birmingham on Friday 25th July. This had followed a series of telephone calls and emails in which I provided "free consultancy" on Ofsted's new Inspection Handbook. Whatever your ideological stripe, whatever your beliefs about the purpose of education, everybody can, I hope, agree that reforming Ofsted is in everyone's best interest. During the past month Sean has "taken a scythe" to the 500+ pages of subsidiary and subject specific guidance to produce a slimmed down document that will be useful to inspectors, and [...]

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 [...]