OFSTED’s annual report claims that schools are not being ambitious enough and are coasting along with just satisfactory teaching. Some schools are not getting above an OFSTED ‘satisfactory’ grade, inspection after inspection. The report suggests that when schools are deemed ‘inadequate’ they do strive to improve yet too many schools that receive the ‘satisfactory’ grade seem to stagnate at that level.
As a parent you could be blamed for wondering whether this means that schools are just not bothered what OFSTED say. If schools are not trying to get above ‘satisfactory’, are they really trying to stretch our children or are they happy to just do the job and carry on? It also begs the question about whether staff and teachers simply have too much going on everyday in order to just keep the standard they are at, as they are and are simply too overworked to be able to start raising standards.
Another worrying aspect of the report concerns outstanding schools. It says that 40% of schools which have previously been given an ‘outstanding’ grade, have lost that grade in their most recent OFSTED report. As GCSE and A level results are improving year on year, how can it be that the quality of teaching in our schools is not improving? It simply makes no sense, unless schools are simply teaching pupils to pass exams and not teaching to educate and stretch our children.
Good exam results look good in league tables, but they do not necessarily offer our children the education they need for university, or success in a career that they have set their heart on.
The annual report also talks about the variance in the quality of teaching between different schools. Maria Jones-Fraser of School Admissions says, “We all know of good and bad schools in our area, and OFSTED should be helping schools to level the playing field and be encouraging schools to raise standards. It is very worrying that this does not appear to be happening.”