Sir Michael Wilshaw: the right man for Ofsted?
He has achieved some amazing results (at Mossbourne Academy). I listened to reports of how they have improved literacy. The reporter said he went into a class where there were 15 children and five teachers. I don't imagine I will ever teach in a class of 15 kids with four other members of staff in a mainstream school. Not quite so super, perhaps.
The school he is leaving was once dubbed the worst in the country - now it's got 80 per cent A*-Cs (at GCSE). I say: he's the man.
82 per cent of pupils achieve GCSEs, far above the national average. Its pupils wear smart shirts, ties and blazers and are required to recite a mantra before every lesson. I heard them doing it on telly. It's a bit like the cubs who promise to do their best to do their duty.
God, I hope he isn't going to enforce that as an Ofsted requirement. No, he'll probably make us all translate it into rap to make it "relevant". Key question: does he listen to the TEACHERS?
At least he's a former teacher and former headteacher and therefore has recent, direct experience of working in schools.
I noticed that he wandered around the playground talking to the kids. I wonder if that was for show? I wonder what his opinion is of exclusions or if he shies away so there are none on his figures.
You don't get that level of improvement without changing who you teach. The number of kids with supportive parents (rich or poor) will have increased markedly under his tenure. I don't dispute he's done well, but you only get transformations of this magnitude when you manipulate the figures in some way.
I like the sound of him. He makes parents sign a contract that says they forfeit their place at his school if they take a holiday in term time and he gives three-hour Saturday morning detentions. He says no good teaching can occur when behaviour is poor. BUT if he comes into my school and says behaviour is not good enough (which it really isn't) will that be interpreted by the senior leadership team as "the teachers aren't teaching well enough" rather than "SLT don't have the right behaviour systems in place". All the things he has done are things that teachers on their own can't do. I'm worried this will just add more pressure on to teachers at the chalkface, who can't do a lot to change school systems. My school demands nothing of the pupils and everything of the teachers.
He's after coasting teachers. Satisfactory will no longer be good enough.
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