Tony’s Blog

Lesson observation – feedback?

In this Thursday’s open session, we’ll be looking at how to run the evaluative conversation following a lesson observation. It might sound counterintuitive, but the last people you should look to for a model of good practice are Ofsted inspectors. I mean no disrespect, I was a full-time inspector for many years, it’s just that they have a different job to do. Their job is a condition of funding. Your job is at the heart of your organisation’s culture. When […]

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How to ready your team for Ofsted or Estyn?

How do you ready your team for inspection? Do you ask them to read and digest the inspection framework? Or regularly run mini in-house inspections? Or, worse still, book a group of people like me to come in and give you an inspector’s-eye view? Or just let them get on with their jobs and not worry about the accountability policy? I’d like to think there was a right answer to this question, and that it can be found by first […]

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Ofsted promotes poor self-assessment practice

I wonder how aware people are that Ofsted encourages, promotes even, poor self-assessment practice? It’s one of the great ironies and flaws of its inspection process. Those of us who’ve been around a while will remember the rubric for inspection reports in the early days: judge impact; don’t argue cause and effect. I remember the day well when the then responsible minister said something like: ‘You’ve got all these expert inspectors – why aren’t you making recommendations in your reports […]

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How to create expert, independent learners

I have an experiment for you. Put the kettle on and make a brew. As you create that warm thinking space, just sit back and imagine your classrooms full of expert learners. What is it that you see? What are the traits these learners have that set them apart from reality (if, indeed, there’s any difference.) Now imagine the impact on your workload if you could enable your learners to develop all of those traits. Sadly, while many children do […]

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No grade 1s for Progress Reviews

I love the concept of ‘magical moments’ as a teacher. You know, the ones that leave learners changed. They can be huge, cross-curricula moments that take a lot of planning, or very small ones that just take a little thought. Even better, though are the magical moments preceded by a wonderful cocktail of curiosity and anticipation. Isn’t it a shame that, so often, Progress Reviews don’t fall into this category of experiences. Why do you think that might be? Teachers […]

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