Put up or shut up….the profession’s answer to Ofsted?

This week has been an interesting one. The Guardian has revealed the risk of a talent drain of the UK’s teachers predicated by the Government stealing our pensions, creating a monster that is out of control called OFSTED and people generally being mean to us. This Is leading to unprecedented levels of stress.

My dilemma is that I am hearing moans that have been rehearsed for years.

No teacher approves of SATs yet each year with relentless glee, teachers across the country launch into a year long assault on children’s happiness, in the name of the very thing they despise.

No teacher approves of the impact of OFSTED, until they are outstanding, and then it becomes a badge of honour for their schools.

Moaning gets us nowhere, it simply compounds the jaundiced view that society has of the profession. It is time to put up or shut up:

I have a challenge for you. Let’s have a bit less carping and a bit more “carpe diem”


One system of accountability to ensure every child in the UK receives an education allowing them to reach their potential and leave primary school at 11 with a proficiency in English and mathematics. It must ensure all secondary age children are pushed to develop a portfolio of qualifications valued in the workplace.

You must ensure every teacher in the UK is worthy of the responsibility bestowed upon them by society. Ensure very child is taught by a ‘good’ teacher.

It must ensure parents are able to make an informed decision about their choice of school.

It must ensure that the £90billion spent on education in the UK by the taxpayer delivers value for money.

It must cost less than £207million per year

Oh and try not to upset the workforce when you tell them the truth 😉

Answers below: ( in your own time)

8 thoughts on “Put up or shut up….the profession’s answer to Ofsted?

  1. Did you know…

    In Singapore they have ave class sizes of 40 in a class. Why? Well according to Dylan Wiliam it is to ensure that each child has access to the best teachers. They are concerned that a drive to lower class sizes will bring in teachers not good enough due to how high they value themselves and the service they offer.

    £5,000,000,000 was spent on the National Strategies. The impact has been measured. The impact of this investment is valued at 1 more child in each Primary School across the UK gaining a Level 4 than before!

    Value for money?

    We (teachers) need to step up… We are the experts and it is ONLY US that will make the difference. We need to get our house in order right across the board.

    • Class size of 40+ work in a culture far removed from the UK. What we need is a recognition of the quality of what we do well and an honest appraisal of where the system fails children – without pointing fingers but looking for sound researched solutions. In a positive school improvement system all boats will rise on the rising tide. The deficit model only breeds fear, hence the temptation to take the King’s shilling from ‘outstanding’ schools.

  2. Am planning on discussing this with the teachers at the National Teachers’ conference in Singapore this month. Cannot wait to find out from their teachers how they view their system. I haven’t met them yet but I have a suspiscion (I may be proven wrong later I have no idea) there will be fewer whinges and people just getting on with doing the best job they can. The fact that the conference exists and is free for all teachers at Ministry of Education schools says something too. Professionals get valued. It is a two way street though. We need to act like professionals in order to earn the respect. The government needs to respect us.
    Are we stuck in a vicious negative circle of the opposite happening?

    I will update from Singapore afterwards as am interested to find out about their testing system. It is very different to ours but will approach with an open mind as maybe it could be the answer!

    • Models from other cultures are interesting…..but…..the Singaporean system thrives in their culture, the same in Finland. Both their cultures are inherently different than the culture in the UK.

      I’m aiming to deal with accountability and checks and balances in this blog

      • Brilliant! You’re asking us to come up with a system of ‘checks and balances’ exactly like Ofsted. You’ve made your mind up before you start! It’s like you’re asking for us to come up with an alternative for ‘A’ that must be exactly like ‘A’ … you’re not actually going to take any alternatives seriously because they don’t fit what you think should happen!

      • Hi Joe,

        No – I’m asking you to suggest an alternative to establish that the government is getting what it pays for.

        We need to move beyond checks and balances are bad….

  3. I haven’t an alternative but do think the professional associations need to start representing the ‘profession’ and not fuel the negativity that has prevailed for years. There is a great deal of excellent practice out there but many within the profession don’t like it to be celebrated because that diminishes their argument. After all, if good things are going on what would we have to moan about! It saddens me that those negative voices have not worked out that getting on & doing a good job produces good results which produces happy children which pleases parents and provides skills for the future. That then produces job satisfaction but …wait, what would they moan about?!!

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