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Ofsted Annual Report 2015/16

1 Jan


Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools (HMCI), published his fifth and final Ofsted annual report on the education system in England on Thursday, 1 December 2016.  He retired 30 days later.  In presenting the report, Sir Michael said “a world class education system is within our grasp – but only if serious capacity challenges are urgently addressed”.

Sir Michael stressed that a north/south ‘geographical divide’ meant the ablest pupils in the North and Midlands were less likely to reach A/A* at GCSE. He said: “Standards can only truly be considered high if they are high in every part of the country and for all pupils regardless of background or ability.”

However, his report is, in the main, positive.    The country’s schools/academies, he avers, had made progress over the last five years. Educators could be justly proud.  “Young people are getting a better deal than ever before,” he said.  School/academy leaders responded well to the changes in the system.  The decision to replace the “satisfactory” judgement with “requires improvement” led to schools/academies upping their game, making a greater effort ensuring that pupils are offered the very best possible education.     Of the former 4,800 satisfactory primary schools/academies, 79% were now good or outstanding and, of the previous satisfactory secondary ones, 56% were good or better.

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Effective governors walk the learning talk

24 Apr

I           Why learn or train?

If an organisation is to survive if not flourish – whatever the work it does – it has to be a learning one.  This is more the case in a school, academy, college and university where the primary function is to promote learning.  The key recipients of this provision are, of course, the pupils and students.  However, young people in the charges of the governors, headteachers and staff must see the latter model what they expect of them, to spur the learning for the pupils and students. In such a milieu, governors – like the staff which they oversee – have to take their own learning and training seriously and invest time to improve their knowledge and practice of good and outstanding governance.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is not a staff monopoly at a school or an academy.   It has to encompass all the adults associated with the institution – including governors.  Modelling apart, training is necessary to improve the quality of governance so that governors become better critical friends and make decisions which aid in their effectively developing strategy and promoting accountability.  Continue reading