When Ofsted comes to call

Thank you for coming to this emergency staff meeting. The thing is, just before the holidays TES said Ofsted was planning dawn raids on schools to check pupil behaviour, so we'll need a plan of action or my job could be on the line.

But headmaster, they're just visiting schools with a record of poor behaviour, aren't they?

At the moment, Elspeth, yes. But you can never tell with Ofsted.

We're just like any other primary school, aren't we? Our children are mostly well behaved, but we've got a few pains in the ar...

Exactly, Andrew, although these days we use the term "challenging". But at any moment Ofsted could decide even one challenging child is one too many. This meeting is to consider the children whose anger needs a little more ... management.

You mean like Thumper McCoy? When I was leaning over a desk the other day, he bent his ruler back and whacked me on the buttock. If I hadn't been wearing a corset ...

Quite so, Mrs Strongbody, although we must remember that the educational psychologist did say Thomas suffered from CRTD.

CRTD, headmaster?

Compulsive Ruler Twanging Disorder. If you recall, the psychologist recommended a sticker on his chart every time he used his ruler for drawing lines - as opposed to buttock striking, or firing wet blotting-paper pellets at the ceiling.

What about Smasher Smiff? He goes around trapping the heads of Year 3 children between his knees until their faces turn purple ...

Tricky one, David. But his mother says he's only showing his anxiety about moving to secondary school.

But he doesn't start until next September. That's a year away.

True. It's probably an onset of ERTS.


Early Reaction To Transition Syndrome. Just have to let him work it through, I fear.

What about Biter Billington, headmaster? At the end of playtime there's always a queue of children with teeth marks in their arms. Or legs. Or worse.

I understand, Grahame. It wasn't so bad when he just bit two or three of his classmates, but I agree that 27 this week is a cause for concern. His mother says he might be hungry. A breaktime biscuit, perhaps?

But then everyone will want one. What about a severe telling off?

Not the best tactic, Grahame. Could give him a complex.

Then what are we going to do about Tiresome Theresa? If she isn't poking people with her pencil, she's out of her seat being rude to everybody. She's thoroughly spoilt.

Well Angela, we've had Team Around The Child meetings and evolved a pastoral plan. She's had clinical psychological counselling, an EBD review, and a personal behaviour contract.

But none of it has worked. What about a good slap?

Not a technique recognised by Ofsted, Grahame. But I have a plan. We get the nursery inspected first, then we ship all our ... um ... children who can't make the right choices down there while the inspectors look at the other classes. I gather this technique is gaining favour ...

I've got an even better idea, headmaster.

What's that, Cyril?

Line 'em up in the playground, kit 'em out with rounders bats and dustbin lids to whack, and the inspectors won't even come through the gates. Just make sure you've done a risk assessment ...

Mike Kent is headteacher at Comber Grove Primary, Camberwell, south London. Email: mikejkent@aol.com.

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