Radicalise the tick list

15th November 2013 at 00:00

As one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools, I was very aware of the truism: "Teachers don't do what you expect; they do what you inspect". The current inspection and testing regime fosters conformity and compliance, not the risky testing out of new ideas or radical solutions ("With delegated power comes great innovation, Editorial, 8 November).

Words such as "innovation" or "experimentation" simply don't appear in the inspection handbook. They aren't something that inspectors look out for; in consequence, they aren't something they encounter. If we are to "(protect) an ever greater right to innovate", we need as a precondition a radical change to the inspection and testing mindset. With the majority of schools now deemed "good" or "outstanding", this could be an apt time to make that change.

Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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