Tuesday, 27 November 2012

INTERESTING READING! The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills

I was reading 'The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills' today. "As things stand, the overall picture across Ofsted’s inspection remits is that broadly 70% of providers are good or better." I was also reading an OECD report that said that education in the UK was second best in Europe after Finland and a Pearson's report which said that education in the UK was sixth best in the world! So lots to shout about here then...

However, that was as good as it got because, reading more of  'The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills', I found it went on to say that "In most assessments, a 7/10 mark might equate to ‘fair but could do better’. For an aspiring leading nation in a 21st century global economy, it has to be ‘not good enough; must do better.’"

This important report focuses on:
  • schools and the leadership needed to improve the 30% of schools that are not yet good 
  • the learning and skills sector, questioning the leadership of too many colleges that are failing to prepare young people and adults for the world of work 
  • serious inequities in access to good education, asking what local authorities are doing to improve provision in their areas 
  • the need to raise the quality of early years education, particularly for the most disadvantaged young children 
  • the role played by Ofsted and the way in which inspection will be complemented by a greater emphasis on support and improvement.

The Schools Report recognises that schools are getting better:
  • schools in England have improved considerably over the last ten years;
  • standards are rising steadily;
  • inadequate schools are being transformed successfully;
  • some schools achieve well despite challenging circumstances;
  • sponsor-led academies can make a positive difference;
  • school management is generally efficient and instructional leadership is improving;
  • the quality of teaching is improving.
The Schools Report identifies the main challenges facing education;
  • there are too many satisfactory schools that require improvement;
  • more needs to be done to reduce attainment gaps
  • there is marked inequality of access to a good school across the country;
  • some local areas deliver poor provision severely damaging the life chances of their young people.
So nothing there we didn't already know but interestingly  'The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills' goes on to say that "If England is to compete with the very best, then strong leadership is absolutely critical. Therefore, this report is fundamentally about the importance of leadership at every level. When I look at any inspection report, my eyes are always drawn to comments on leadership because leaders are the key people in changing and improving the culture and performance of the organisation. Leaders provide the role models for the rest of the institution. I have learned what a difference schools make when everyone pulls in the same direction, with children’s needs and interests at heart. It is leadership that drives improvement by creating the culture and ethos needed in order to push up standards." Sadly, the report fails to recognise the critical importance of these comments for system leadership for the whole country. What an opportunity missed to celebrate the achievements we have made over the last twenty years and to inspire us all to learn from the best and all pull in the same direction and how sad it is that this report has done nothing to create a culture and ethos which will drive up standards for every child in every school across the country!

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