Inspectors press staff to go public with their plans

8th September 1995 at 01:00
This school is an elite Madrid secondary of 608 pupils, quite mixed socially but highly-motivated and with supportive parents. The school, although overcrowded and housed in an old building, produces good results and is oversubscribed.

The inspection was carried out by a team of three, including the school's regular inspector adviser. The principal and those teachers who agreed with the new reforms welcomed the inspection, but more conservative staff were somewhat suspicious. The inspectors visited the school six or seven times, as is customary in Spain, and commended its high standards. But they criticised the development plan (which omitted some legally-required information), the fact that some teachers held aloof from the life of the school and the generally poor channels of communication.

The inspectors recommended that the staff work as a team, and should start by jointly drawing up a new development plan. The subject departments were asked to set out their programmes of work, and to publicise them among the students. The parents were much in favour of the report's recommendations - particularly those which asked departments to agree on and make public their criteria for assessing students and promoting them to the next year.

The principal responded the following year with a new development plan agreed by all staff, which aimed to improve cohesion among the teachers, and to foster closer links with the pupils' families.

She planned to set up a committee of teachers to draw up a schoolwide teaching and learning plan, and felt that the inspection had strengthened her hand in achieving a consensus for change.

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