We were looking at how we support our most vulnerable schools, schools in transition and those in challenging circumstances and the impact of the new OFSTED Framework. I sometimes wonder what is driving this uncompromising and relentlessly critical approach to standards, safeguarding and provision by the DCSF and OFSTED.
Do we really believe that headteachers, teachers and schools will only do their job properly if they are constantly criticised, tightly directed and carefully monitored. Do we really believe that a significant and increasing minority of headteachers, teachers and schools are performing so poorly that they need to be identified and removed from their roles. Do we really believe that headteachers, teachers and schools are generally well intentioned and professional in their work, but that they need to have continuous, unequivocal external guidance about what they are doing.
What we all need is intelligent accountability. Accountability that...
- preserves, enhances and develops trust.
- develops ownership and involves us in the process.
- supports professional responsibility and initiative.
- encourages deep, worthwhile responses rather than shallow surface window dressing.
- recognises and compensates for the severe limitations of our ability to capture educational quality in simplistic performance indicators.
- provides effective feedback that promotes insight into performance.
- supports good decision making about what we should celebrate and what we should change.