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

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