Ofsted in Wonderland

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Have chief inspector David Bell and his senior colleagues in the Office for Standards in Education been employing a latter-day Lewis Carroll to help them prepare the latest inspection guidance?

In it we are told that "generally satisfactory" really means "unsatisfactory" when applied to the quality of teaching (TES, September 5). Does this mean that "generally good" now means only "satisfactory" and "generally very good" only "good" ?

In re-writing the Queen's English into the Queen of Hearts' English, Ofsted is inadvertently undermining its own rhetoric. In the past it has made much of the claim that a large percentage of heads and governors are "generally satisfied" with the inspection process. Presumably, on this latest interpretation of "generally satisfactory" this really means that they were dissatisfied! If so, shouldn't the process be fundamentally re-considered?

Professor Colin Richards 1 Bobbin Mill Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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