Inspectors give too much notice

27th June 2003 at 01:00
The atmosphere of fear and loathing at the Office for Standards in Education has, fortunately, disappeared with Chris Woodhead. However, having been through an inspection recently, I can confirm there is a serious flaw in the process.

With so much notice the management has time to set up artificial systems - organising thousands of meetings to discuss weak points, forcing staff to use standardised plans and checking up on missing students only because inspectors are coming - that they can easily give the misleading appearance of running a professional institution. The fact that, despite all the coaching and coercion some teachers and managers still get a grade 5 shows how really bad they are at their job! The gross waste of time that results from "preparing for inspection" is a particular disgrace.

The aim of inspections should be straightforward: to help the establishment improve its standards. So why not have a spot-check by inspectors - to see work being carried out on a normal day, warts and all - and then everyone sit down and discuss how things can be improved.

Another check one or two years later would then measure progress without causing any disruption to the education of students or stress to the staff.

Jackie Sherman

Radley Road

Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now