Ofsted grading inappropriate

23rd December 2005 at 00:00
I was observed last week and was failed based on Ofsted standards. I was criticised on the fact that my teaching assistant worked with one child rather than with the whole table. I hadn't annotated the national numeracy strategy plans and my learning objectives weren't correct, as I hadn't used the end box on the plans, rather the objectives stated within the plans.

The final criticism was that I hadn't included any paired workingindividual whiteboard work. Ironically, I do a lot of that, but didn't include any in the lesson.

I don't think it's appropriate to use Ofsted grading on newly qualified teachers' lessons. It is unhelpful, unnecessary and may even be inaccurate.

Is your observer a trained inspector? It seems obvious that a newly qualified teacher will not be teaching as well as an experienced teacher and grading them as unsatisfactory won't help. Induction is meant to help you develop. Therefore, observations should make clear the strengths and successes of the lesson but also highlight what to work on to improve.

As an NQT on induction you should be judged on your progress against the qualified teacher status and induction standards. By the end of the year someone who is not teaching satisfactory lessons according to Ofsted criteria is unlikely to be meeting all these standards. At this stage in the year, it's unnecessary and probably demoralising for any NQT to be graded. What's important is that they're helped to get better.

Sara Bubb

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today