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A way to celebrate

AT the onset of my first OFSTED inspection, I was a teacher in a small suburban primary. All the staff were apprehensive and suffered the regulation amount of stress. However, the inspectors were polite, efficient and professional.

Having begun consultations with the words: "We are here to celebrate your successes, not to criticise and find fault," I took them at their word.

While things did not always go to plan, the experience gave me an opportunity to display a reasonable sampe of my current practice. The subsequent individual report gave me confidence to apply for other jobs and I am now the head of a small rural school.

The experience can be used to "celebrate success" and that where there is need for improvement, it should be looked on as an opportunity to focus on key issues. We can make a real difference to children's lives and that privilege brings real responsibilities, not least of which is accountability.

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