Ofsted has said that minor disruptions and inattentive pupils have been tolerated for too long in schools in England and are hindering progress and learning.
Given that England has been slipping down the international rankings of literacy and numeracy, it seems good to me that someone has come and acknowledged that there’s a problem.
Yet teaching unions did not seem to agree with the views of Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “Its combative words do more harm than good.”
Sir Michael said there was “a culture of casual acceptance of low-level disruption and poor attitudes to learning.” He said that kind of culture was “a million miles away” from the cultures seen in successful Asian countries.
He said: “We're also seeing unlucky children with the same sort of background, who are born in the wrong area, live in the wrong place, go to the wrong sort of school where there's poor leadership, with head teachers and teachers with low expectations of what they can achieve.”
Dr Bousted said: “The lessons from this country and from abroad are clear - treating teachers with professional respect and fostering a climate for school-led collaboration is what helps children learn.
"Ofsted, however, is severely inconsistent in the quality of its inspections, which leaves it undermined and seriously out of touch.” Her own combative words.
It seems to me that:
- Something is wrong.
- That something needs to be identified.
- Actions need to be put in place to correct that something.
- All parties involved should agree those actions and work together to make things better.
Can't we at least agree to work together to make things better?