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Showing posts from April, 2015

No-Notice Inspections: Some Initial Thoughts

This week we have had an announcement from Education Scotland that they are carrying out a review of their inspection processes. Part of this review would seem to be to consider whether the introduction of no notice inspections will improve the current model, which gives secondary schools three weeks notice and primary schools two weeks notice. For a number of years I have been one that has made the case that if inspectors, or anyone else, wants to know what a school is really like, they should just walk in off the street. I have always qualified this with the thought that there would have to be changes to the requirements and expectations from schools, should inspections take place in this way. In this post I would like to consider how this process might work, and whether it might be desirable, or not.
It has long been argued by many that the period when schools have been notified of an upcoming inspection, and when the inspection actually takes place, can be one of the most stressful…

A Few Thoughts on School Improvement Plans and Planning

Spring has arrived, daffodils and lambs abound, and it's the time of year when headteachers, certainly in Scotland, start to turn their thoughts to school improvement plans. There was a time when these were nothing short of works of fiction, and very long ones at that. They were written for an audience that resided outside of schools and a purpose that was most concerned with ticking boxes. All of which are characteristics of any development that schools are told they should be doing, by people who don't  understand the purpose, procedures or research that sits behind any such request. Schools, and their Heads, were put under pressure to complete plans, but were never given the time to understand their purpose or to consider what good plans and planning looked like. The result was a mish mash of plans and formats, that nobody really looked at once they were written, certainly not teachers, but which provided 'evidence' that schools and local authorities were engaged in…