Friday, 26 July 2013

"Dozens of 'outstanding' schools downgraded"

From the BBC:

More than 100 schools previously rated "outstanding" by Ofsted inspectors have lost their top rankings after changes to the system in England.

The schools have been reinspected since September, after changes aimed at putting more weight on teaching. The heads of the downgraded schools have been told to go to London and to "wait outside in the corridor" until Education Secretary Mr Gove is ready to see them.

After they have been ushered into the room, Education Secretary Mr Gove will stand looking out of the window with his hands clasped behind his back for several minutes while the errant principals become increasingly fidgety.

"Your parents are going to be very disappointed with you, you know," Mr Gove will start, "You're not just letting down the Department, you're letting yourselves down."

This will be followed by exhortations to pull up socks and apply noses to grind stones followed by murmurs of assent and furtive sideways glances. The heads of two inner-city academies will later given detention for playing on their mobile phones while Mr Gove is speaking.

"I'm especially disappointed with you two," Mr Gove will add, "You could do it for Mr Blair but why not for me?"

The punishment for the whoever scribbles "Scots git" on the front of his desk in felt tip pen will be decided once the culprit has been identified and apprehended. The precise severity of the punishment will hinge on the wrong-doer's response to the eternal dilemma: "Would you behave like this at home?"


Sackerson said...

There is an agenda with OFSTED, Mark. The Government has decided on privatisation. Wait till the first Southern Cross-type meltdown. Meanwhile, watch who's getting paid for what.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, they wouldn't dare and they don't want to anyway.

That would run a risk of pushing up standards, reducing house prices in the catchment areas of current good state schools and eroding the advantage of self-selection which truly private education provides.

Sackerson said...

I think they do want to and it's happening. Anecdotally, Ofsted is going into schools in deprived areas and pushing them into "Special Measures", thence to become "Academies". I think it's a bit akin to what happened to sixth form colleges in the 80s - ending up with expanded salaries for management, nepotism, and turning teaching staff into low-paid skivvies. Ask around. This ideological stuff about public vs private is all four legs good, two legs bad.

Sackerson said...

P.S. Ofsted isn't about academic standards any more. They are given themes, then the stormtroopers charge in. Safeguarding was the last one, this time it's social moral & spritual values, next time it'll be the quality of biscuits served at coffee time.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, actually, you are probably right.

But this will be the special brand of privatisation beloved of recent UK governments where the cost to the taxpayer goes up while standards continue to drop, and where the "consumer" is given no wider choice than before.

DBC Reed said...

Sackerson's beef about sixth form colleges also applies to Further Education where freedom from local authority ownership meant loads of people sitting in offices not teaching and getting higher salaries. The socialist terror of the local authorities meant they left lecturers alone and all admin was done centrally by a few low-paid clerical officers. Come independence and all the colleges in a local authority's remit set up their own admin departments to run human resources etc ,a vast increase in bureaucracy. Soon these departments took over teaching space and helped run the institutions in league with the non-lecturing managerial staff who were paid on higher 'academic' scales. Colleges I worked at managed the transition fairly sensitively, but with time and the retirement of the old guard, industrial kick-arse management styles took over. Other public sector workplaces I know of that have been privatised, or moved out of the public sector , have gone the same way: management by fear (of losing your job) and more managers paying themselves well and cutting the workers' wages. Even capitalism is not supposed to work like this.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, ta for anecdotal.

This is not "capitalism" this is "corporatism", all the PFI, ATOS, Capita, A4E, G4S stuff.

DBC Reed said...

I was always taken with that old book "The Managerial Revolution" by J.D. Burnham which argued that Socialist or Capitalist society would be run by an elite of managers.The title of a very similar earlier book by Rizzi: 'Le Bureaucritisation du Monde' better captures the essence of it .As Chesterton said, it did n't matter whether you were the owner of Sussex or the Regional Controller of it. (He believed that ownership should be spread as widely as possible: Distributism).