Ofsted · pedagogy · Philosophy of Education

On Ofsted’s definition of learning and designing an alternative

Introduction This blog, outlines the problematic nature of Ofsted’s definition of learning, offering an alternative 1. Ofsted defines learning as: (…) an alteration in long term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned 2. Learning causes alterations in memory but so does forgetting. You could easily replace learning with forgetting and Ofsted’s definition would work equally as well. Ofsted suffers… Continue reading On Ofsted’s definition of learning and designing an alternative

Ofsted · Policy

Ofsted must have this confrontation with the DfE

A recent article in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) entitled DfE and Ofsted at odds over exams caught my attention. The article suggests that the DfE has taken umbrage at the decision by “Ofsted (is) to downgrade the use of exam results as a measure of school quality”. There is an escalating confrontation between the DfE and… Continue reading Ofsted must have this confrontation with the DfE

Ofsted · Policy

On Post-2010 policy: lurking behind the veil of Ofsted data is a litany of policy related issues

In my last blog, I argued that the recent National Audit Office (NAO) report about Ofsted asked the wrong question: does Ofsted measure the impact its inspections have on improving the quality of schools in England? As HMCI observed, there is a perverse incentive implicit to Ofsted measuring the impact of its own inspections. Ofsted could simply inflate grades… Continue reading On Post-2010 policy: lurking behind the veil of Ofsted data is a litany of policy related issues

Ofsted · Policy

On the National Audit Office (NAO) report into Ofsted: insightful but critically flawed on school improvement

The National Audit Office recently released a report entitled Ofsted’s inspection of schools. The report examines whether the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills’ (Ofsted)  school inspections provide value for money. The report is insightful and a good starting point for a debate about Ofsted, however, it is also critically flawed on school improvement. This blog aims to… Continue reading On the National Audit Office (NAO) report into Ofsted: insightful but critically flawed on school improvement

Ofsted · Policy

On OFSTED’s early years report: some dos and don’ts for Professor Mujis to consider

OFSTED has recently appointed a new head of research. Judging by the recently launched early years report: Bold beginnings:  the Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools this appointment has not come too soon. The report has been criticised by educationalists for being politicised and ideological. In this BLOG I highlight some dos and don’ts… Continue reading On OFSTED’s early years report: some dos and don’ts for Professor Mujis to consider

Ofsted · pedagogy · Policy

On fabricated classroom practice: norm circles, placebos and evidence proxies

  I’ve been thinking about feedback; more specifically, how do you know whether feedback given to students is good or otherwise? Despite the research, I’m not convinced that feedback is a good thing per se. Good feedback is a good thing, bad feedback isn’t. You might think that is self-evident but research suggesting that feedback… Continue reading On fabricated classroom practice: norm circles, placebos and evidence proxies

Ofsted · Philosophy of Education · Policy · Progressivism

On the value of ideas and the search for causality in the classroom

Can an idea be “real” like a light bulb or a torch? Does the text of a book contain something more than just symbols on a page? Do ideas have a causal effect measurable by empirical science? I was pondering these questions whilst watching the world pour opprobrium on Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims. Few… Continue reading On the value of ideas and the search for causality in the classroom