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If you don’t grade lessons

outstanding seedsYesterday I asked ‘should ofsted grade individual lessons during whole school inspections?’

Thanks (in no small part) to a ReTweet by @GuardianTeach & then the passionate participation of my own followers and so many interested educators I’ve been able to gather some data to share.

Guardian tweetMy poll spiked between 8pm and 11pm. When I took a look at the results, amazingly hundreds of interested educators voted, and the poll results (at 11pm Tuesday 25th Feb) were as follows…

Poll results 11pm

Overwhelmingly people voted that Ofsted should NOT grade individual lessons during a whole school inspection.

But if they don’t, what then?

To me Ofsted does (in some capacity) need to grade lessons, if only as part of a quality assurance process.

BUT in my mind lesson observations (by Ofsted or anyone) should only form a part of what is considered to make a teacher ‘Outstanding’.

what makes outstandingLeadership challenge

To me the reaction online to statements about ofsted grading individual lessons present some questions and challenges for leaders in the profession?

  • Do we (as a profession) scrap grading lessons internally as well as by external bodies?
  • How would/do we measure our performance without being graded on lessons observed?
  • What approach would/could/do we take to monitor performance?
  • Could/should/is a more holistic approach to the bigger picture of performance management the answer? Looking at the ‘whole’ of the teachers job not just a 20minute ‘performance’ against a set list of criteria.
  • Is this approach already here and being used in schools appropriately?

A rigorous but holistic alternative?

I lean very much towards a holistic approach, a well structured one.

An approach to performance management that sits comfortably with whole school goals for raising achievement & departmental targets as well as an individuals professional development.

But just how is this made a reality? & is it already out there?

I find this a fascinating discussion point with teachers as their is so much emotion is behind opinions on the matter.

I’ll be looking at this in a series of posts soon based on the ongoing research investigations and discussions of a group of teachers I’m leading in school working on the question:  ‘What makes outstanding learning and teaching, and how to you really assess, measure and share that?’.

More to follow…

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