Wednesday, 11 November 2015

(Perhaps) The best way to improve your OFSTED grade is to ignore their advice.

When we get inspected, they give us both a grade and some advice on how to improve.

We get the impression that, if we follow the advice, the next time we are inspected, we should get a better grade. But what is the evidence? 

We downloaded dozens of Inspection Reports and found that the overall grade is almost always the same as the 'Outcome for learners/students'. This means that the best way to improve your grade is to improve the learning. At EBTN, we can demonstrate that the best way to do that is to develop staff-skills in using some evidence-based methods. 

The stress caused by inspection is not directly caused by OFSTED - it is created by school-staff trying to work out how to implement the advice and creating myths and rules in the process.

(We also noticed that the grade given for 'Leadership/management' is almost always the same as the overall grade, but, can it really be that all schools which are well managed have good learning? )
The EBTN message is clear: develop staff-skills and ignore* the inspection teaching/learning advice.  When the learning improves, so will the inspection-grade.

(*If the advice relates to a legal requirement, like safety, don't ignore that!)

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