The Borg: Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours.
Capt. Picard: Impossible. My culture is based on freedom and self-determination.
The Borg: Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply.
Capt. Picard: We would rather die.
The Borg: Death is irrelevant.
— Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 (1990)
There was a time when I would have danced a jig for joy at the thought of Ofsted being irrelevant.
However, that is no longer the case. Ofsted in recent times have taken a most unexpected lurch towards sweet reasonableness and common sense (at least in some aspects of their operations).
This has wrong footed a number of us, I can tell you. Some might argue that it is too little, too late — but late is better than never.
That it is a genuine sea change can be gauged from the fact that Ofsted has felt it necessary to publish an “Ofsted mythbusters” page. Amongst the highlights are: no individual lesson plans are required for inspections; no set amount of lesson observation evidence and no internal individual lesson gradings will be required; and, there is no — repeat, NO! — requirement for any particular type, frequency or volume of pupil book marking or feedback.
And yet, and what have a large number of schools and multi-academy chains chosen to do with this valuable document? That’s right, they have chosen to IGNORE this advice and continue with their previous systems and procedures: the La-la-la!-I’m-not-listening!-La-la-la! stratagem, if you will.
This isn’t a case of Zombie-Ofsted, as I erroneously suggested in previous post. This is a case of research-informed, actually quite sensible educational advice being wilfully and deliberately ignored by a range of educational institutions.
The New Blob* has come into its own and it’s watchwords are:
1. Double and triple marking (using pens of many colours!)
2. Graded lesson observations (#Cause the graders gonna grade, grade, grade, grade, grade!)
3. Outstanding (as in “Are you an outstanding teacher?” — see no.2 above)
Ofsted is truly irrelevant, sadly.
* perhaps Edu-Borg might be a better description