Joining the bean-counters

22nd November 2013 at 00:00

Colin Richards and Professor Bill Boyle ("Radicalise the tick list"; "Lessons from a genius", Letters, 15 November) both berate the inspection criteria of Ofsted, the schools inspectorate for England, for fostering conformity and compliance rather than recognising experimentation and innovation, and nourishing the development of the child. I could not disagree more.

Since 2007 I have taught only key stage 3 nurture groups (aged 11-14) in two very different schools in Leeds and Bradford. My approach is a radical solution to a lack of engagement and progress. At my current school, a mainstream comprehensive in north-west Leeds, we are innovative and experimental, and teach the national curriculum in a bespoke manner.

My teaching was recently observed by an Ofsted inspector under the new framework. What they saw was a typical lesson, emphasising original thinking and group work, with students challenging and supporting each other. It was well received by the inspector. My advice to colleagues is to take that step: be innovative with an unyielding focus on thinking, learning and progress. It will be acknowledged and recognised.

Garry Freeman, Director of inclusion, special educational needs coordinator and associate of Leeds Metropolitan University.

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