Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Off with OFSTED
The previous post, immediately below, examines why I believe over-attention to the measurable is actually counter-productive, and calls for more constructive methods of supporting professionals, especially in education.
To show that this appeal is not just unrealistic "pie in the sky" from a blinkered retiree, here is a quote from an article by Danny Dorling, a professor of geography at Oxford University, in today's Guardian:
In Finland there is no inspection of teachers, no league tables, pupils are not set or streamed and. . .'In four international surveys, all since 2000, Finnish comprehensive school students have scored above students in all the other participating countries in science and problem-solving skills, and came either first or second in reading and mathematics.'
I am well aware that a system successful in one country cannot necessarily be transferred lock stock and barrel to another: in the case of Finland and the UK there are significant social and cultural differences, not least, I understand, that Fins enjoy a more equal society and, in general, have a higher regard for eduction per se than is common here.
However, there is little doubt that Michael Gove, with his obsession with "driving up standards" by force of inspection and yet more testing, is barking up the wrong tree. Some might say just "barking."