Unsatisfactory explanation

28th February 2003 at 00:00
The chief inspector's defence of his assertion that "satisfactory" means "unsatisfactory" is unconvincing.

We should insist that "satisfactory" means just what it says. It is what can legitimately be expected of a teacher in any particular lesson, given the demands on his or her time, energy and imaginative capacities in the typical school week.

We should reject the Office for Standards in Education's condescending interpretation of the term. As more lessons have been judged by Ofsted to be "satisfactory or better", so the demands have been ratcheted up.

How long before "good" is the new "satisfactory" and we are told that just being "good" is no longer good enough; only "excellence" will now suffice?

Mrs V Clark

34 Vicarage Drive

Eastbourne

East Sussex

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