No More Grades. A Suggestion by @TeacherToolkit

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This is another blog about lesson gradings and the Ofsted pilot, conducted in the Midlands in June 2014. I also offer a suggestion, regardless of whether or not you are in favour of individual lesson gradings.

Background:

“The time has come to try something different”. (Mike Cladingbowl)

According to straw-poll surveys I have conducted at conferences and CPD events, 25% of the teaching population will not be bothered by what is written in this article; however, the other 75% of the teaching profession – particularly those who still are grading individual lessons in schools across England – may be (or at least I claim, should be) concerned by the information I share here.

Judging Lessons Gradings

The argument I present, is that as a collective teaching profession, we should continue to concerned with Ofsted as a watchdog. In this blog below I present further evidence that Ofsted remain far too subjective … My most recent blog, regarding A Reliable @OfstedNews? (January 2015) highlighted a blog by @headguruteacher, OfSTED Outstanding? Just gimme some truth.

Sean Harford (newly appointed National Director of Schools) responded to Tom Sherrington’s claims about Ofsted validity, which led @harfordsean to admit that Ofsted did need to inspect their own inspectors! Thus, double-Ofsted inspections were born. Ofsted reliability will be tested by ‘double’ inspections.

The reader will hopefully be aware, that I once blogged, An Edu-Blogger Mandate for @OfstedNews and the Famous Five (pictured below) who secured a landmark visit to Ofsted ivory towers in February 2014. This was to meet with Mike Cladingbowl, the former National Director for Schools, Ofsted, to discuss why [Ofsted] want to try inspecting without grading teaching in each individual lessons.

Left to right: @TomBennett71; @LearningSpy; @ClerkToGovernor; Mike Cladingbowl; @headguruteacher & @TeacherToolkit (18.2.14)
Left to right: @TomBennett71; @LearningSpy; @ClerkToGovernor; Mike Cladingbowl; @headguruteacher & @TeacherToolkit (18.2.14)

June 2014:

Six months later, I blogged Hurrah for @OfstedNews! #NoMoreGrades in June 2014 when Ofsted announced that the no-more lesson gradings trail was to take place. From June until September 2014, even though the grading of lessons were abolished by Ofsted, at the start of the academic year, there was still no report  published from the no-grading pilot. Since then, I have shared What Are Ofsted Now Saying? which remains one of my most-read blogs on Ofsted changes to school inspection.

However, there was nothing back regarding the June 2014 pilot. Nothing. No evidence. No data. No issues. No positives or concerns.

January 2015:

Over the past 2 to 3 months, I have been politely asking Ofsted – via Twitter – the following question;

“Dear @Ofstednews, when will you publish the findings from the #Midlands June 2014 #NoGradings pilot for inspection?

Love @TeacherToolkit

@OfstedNews No More GradesPlease click the above and retweet this message if you think Ofsted should publish internal research/pilot/initiatives before changing the Ofsted Schools Inspection framework. Even if you are happy with the removal of lesson gradings, shouldn’t Ofsted still publish what they do?

March 2015:

I have tweeted this message at several times throughout the evenings and weekends, but today, I though I would try whilst ‘at work during the day.’ To my surprise, I received this response. Not even a full-stop!

@OfstedNews No More Grades

Given that we are potentially, more accountable to each other via social-media, do the following tweets further support the profession, that Ofsted are subjective, unreliable, invalid and susceptible to knee-jerk reactions?

@OfstedNews No More Grades

A Suggestion:

Have your say?

Not every school has (or will) remove individual lesson gradings. Whether this is right or wrong, should Ofsted publish what happened in June 2014? Below, you can see the conversation in full. Make sure you join in…

Do you think Ofsted should publish ‘what happened in June 2014? Click the image to tweet.

@OfstedNews No More Grades

 

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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