Saturday 18 May 2013


Oh dear Ofsted - be careful what you do and how you do it.
I offer my poem, in some exasperation in 2000...

I was one of the first Ofsted Inspectors appointed in early 1990s
I undertook one inspection and said, "Never again" preferring to work alongside teachers INSTED...

2000 The hidden “New Framework” for Ofsted Inspections

This poem should be proclaimed in a pompous and disdainful voice
Alfred Hitchcock always comes to mind...... he looks the part....

Yes, Inspectors like us, with a child like ours,
Exercise parental powers
We move to select and register he, or maybe she, in the very private best
Whilst disregarding, in our caring hearts,
The consequence of leaving bog standard to the rest.

Ofsted Insted is our reward as we record D (for Data)
On P (for Proforma) using all the spaces. 
You act normally, we nod formally and do not smile or speak,
For it is A (for Accuracy) we seek
But, unsuspecting, we are collecting the emotion on your faces.

If you S (for Smile), the more we see the better. 
We code S on P in C1 (for Column 1) and then: allocate the letter
A for 1, B for 2, but we stop at J for 10.

When you talk, we count who T (for Talks) to you.
Your T total is captured, neat and black and capital, in C2.

If you lean together when talking, or discuss when walking,
We reward your obvious trouble by counting double.
If we see you mute, stuttering, or muttering about another,
We do not T or S at you, or make a note of your uttering,
We just halve the marks, previously awarded, in C2.

But, if we hear silence, we cherish it as a wonder so rare,
The most precious sign of listening, thinking and intensity.
It's our titillation, the ultimate exhilaration - for it shows you care.
We lovingly place this jewel of judgements in C3
Then ignore it moving to the final calculation for, sadly,
Conversation, subtlety and silences are not for such as we.
For we know it will be there in the school where our child will be

Meanwhile, don't question us, we have a job to do on you - let us be!
The Column Totals (CT) are summed to what your Raw Score will be. 
Your TA (for Targets) are always more than your RS (Raw Score) and
TAs are usefully prepolulated for us in P at C4.

So, the final calculation, of our inspection?
TA  times 100, over RS, equals Efficiency Quotient (EQ)
Which, accompanied by a short review, we email to HQ,
Where, unsmiling, unspeaking Stepford Wives feed cool computers,
 And, using a raft of algorithmic tools, print off The League Table that rules,
Indicating the most caring and most efficient of the nation’s schools.

Finally, we BMW home and, "Oh What fun"
We talk in dinner parties of what we've done
In sad corners of suburbia,
Where, let's face it, we measure the inferior.

From "Desire Lines" John Pearce click here