Teacher training is being inspected to death. . . one student being seen for one lesson could lead to a university being threatened with the closure of its course. This is utter madness
Unless universities take a firm stand about the inspection of teacher training by the Office for Standards in Education, the whole of higher education will suffer. For too long universities have sat back, muttering rather than acting decisively. Ofsted has trampled through the void.
Teacher training is being inspected to death. There are primary sweeps and secondary sweeps. Barely a week goes by without another inspector being on the premises. Sweep sweep, no time to teach. Recently I was observed by my ninth different inspector in a year. The tenth is due shortly. I don't know what the British all-comers' record is, but I must be near it. My work got top grades, as did my university, so why complain? The answer is simple. I am in favour of rigorous external inspection, because universities receive public funding, so the public has a right to know about quality. That much is beyond dispute. But I am strongly opposed to the disgraceful shambles to which universities are currently exposed. Many staff in university schools of education, experts in the field of educational evaluation, find themselves on the receiving end of a process that has no justification. Ofsted is a body which is completely discredited in the eyes of many teachers in schools and this has received considerable press attention. Yet the equivalent disgruntlement within universities is probably unknown to the public. Last year primary teacher training courses were inspected. This year they are being inspected again. The head of Ofsted's teacher-training team wrote to the Times Educational Supplement saying that this was a further inspection, not a re-inspection. Teacher trainers would have been in hysterics, had they had any laughter left in them. The further, subsequent, second, follow-up, ensuing, (but definitely not re-) inspection, was first signalled in a newspaper article. Advance leaks about Ofsted policies and action frequently appear in certain newspapers, before either inspectors themselves or their victims know anything about it. …