Friday, 23 December 2016

Guardian letter on Wilshaw

There might be some doubt, as Laura McInerney says, about the "extent to which Wilshaw was responsible" for the alleged "improvement" in Ofsted, but there is none when it comes to his role in the demoralisation of the teaching profession (And so farewell, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Dirty Harry of Ofsted,20/12/16). Arrogantly attributing the improved rating of primary schools to "Ofsted`s hard work" is simply insulting to teachers, whilst his penchant for "forthright language" is sadly matched by his overuse of simplified and damning generalisations. For every school underachieving in the north of England there are others doing brilliantly; even in schools with below average performance, there are teachers achieving outstanding results.
        Wilshaw would have done education in these areas a much better service by highlighting these facts, and also stressing the difference in grant per pupil between areas, rather than constantly criticising. What would an Ofsted inspector make of a school assembly, which concentrated on some pupils` poor behaviour, and a minority`s poor work ethic, without mentioning the positive approach of the majority?

        Wilshaw might indeed say that he "didn`t mean any offence", but few will be convinced. After all, it was he who said that when staff morale in a school "is at an all-time low", the head knows he/she is "doing something  right"!

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