Ofsted: Correction

I hate getting things wrong. Not backing up my claims with evidence and veering off into polemic was a regular criticism during my student days.

Yesterday, I veered off into such a polemic, and I would like to publicly state a couple of things I got wrong. I’d like to issue a public apology for the error.

If, like me, you are unsure what a commentary is, and its purpose, I looked it up and you can find the definition here: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/commentary

  • There was a jot of admission of Ofsted’s responsibility for the narrowing of the school curriculum, with particular reference to ‘low attaining children’.

Here it is:

“Earlier this year, I commissioned a research programme to broaden our understanding of how curriculums are implemented in our schools, particularly the national curriculum as a key government policy. This was one of the main research priorities of my first year as Chief Inspector. One of the aims of this work was to challenge ourselves, as well as schools, about whether Ofsted has always recognised what is best in curriculum design, development and implementation. If we have not, I wanted to know whether inspection has played a role in bending the curriculum out of shape.”

I think 95 words out of 3,361 counts as a jot. (Definition here: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/jot )

Admitting when you get things wrong and making amends is important, I think.

You can find my original post here: https://notsoordinarydiary.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/school-accountability-and-the-entitlement-to-a-broad-and-balanced-curriculum

It also appears in TES here: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/ofsted-needs-take-responsibility-narrow-dry-curriculum-puts-our

4 thoughts on “Ofsted: Correction

  1. Nancy, reading that paragraph, it’s not an admission of Ofsted’s culpability for the pressure to narrow the curriculum. It merely suggests she wanted to consider whether they played a role. Having read Spielman’s statement in full, I couldn’t find such an admission, which is a remarkable lack of self-awareness. And, as I mentioned in my own blog for the Huffington Post, she does explicitly back both the Key Stage 2 SATs and the Ebacc as desirable ways of holding schools to account.

    Seems to me that if Ofsted don’t recognise that their enforcement of those two measures alone is responsible for pressuring schools to narrow the curriculum, then they have nothing of value to say on the matter at all.

    1. Indeed. The irony of the matter is not lost on me.

      However. It was not a speech and there was a jot, which I am assured by the dictionary is, and I quote: noun
      the least part of something; a little bit.

      The paragraph was indeed the least part of the whole.

      1. Well, now, I’m not so sure. I’d be pretty peeved if I was perceived as a softer target, though.

        The great thing about yours and my positions, is that we are free to say what we really think.

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