Tag Archives: ofsted

Is regulation becoming the new religion?


In whatever field you care to mention – whether it is education, services or business – employers and organisations are checking up on us as never before.

Recently my car broke down in Glastonbury, so I called the AA. Out came the AA repair person, who did a great job, but he then asked me to rate the service he had provided on a tablet, by clicking on a happy face, sad face, or categories in between. Not only that, I got a follow up phone call asking me whether he had done a good job. Why couldn’t the AA just let me call to complain I there had been a problem? This all creates so much pressure on working people.

Last time I went to my GP surgery there was a plastic plinth asking me to rate my experience, with the happy and sad faces again. I tried to type in a message saying “Stop checking up on people, the pressure on staff must be intolerable”, but the message box vanished! On the back of many lorries there is a number to call, inviting us to rate the lorry driver’s performance – and on it goes. And, in my experience, when performance-related pay is introduced in a company the spirit of collegiality can quickly turn into one of competitiveness and dissatisfaction.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Opinion: An end to OFSTED

old schoolThe dissolution of OFSTED is a policy we as Liberal Democrats need to support and implement to ensure our young students are being offered the best education possible.

I am not saying that schools shouldn’t be inspected and checked.The public needs to have confidence in the school system. Parents have the right to be informed about teachers abilities and performance. Most of all we must be able to ensure that teaching meets the needs of our children.

OFSTED for too long has been nothing but a political football. School inspections should be …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 39 Comments

It’s Laws v Gove again as Lib Dem schools minister says academy chains should be accountable to Ofsted

‘It’s civil war in the Coalition classroom’ – that’s how the Independent bills the latest row between those two very civil politicians running the education department, Conservative secretary of state Michael Gove and Lib Dem schools minister David Laws.

I wrote at the weekend about the first spat, which erupted after Michael Gove’s decision to sack Baroness (Sally) Morgan as chair of Ofsted for doing too good a job – at least, that seemed to be the gist of his argument, as he praised her to the skies for her “superlative” work before saying it was time for a …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 8 Comments

Gove and Laws scrap it out on front pages over sacking of Ofsted head. Here’s what the row is all about.

Today’s newspaper front pages are full of the scrap taking place at the heart of the Department for Education between Conservative secretary of state Michael Gove and Lib Dem schools minister David Laws:

gove laws - papers

  • Ofsted row: Lib Dems furious at Conservative plan to ‘politicise’ classrooms (Independent on Sunday)
  • Lib Dems savage Gove over sacked schools boss (The Sunday Times, £)
  • Angry Lib Dems accuse Michael Gove of bid to politicise education (Observer)
  • Why is there a row?

    On Friday night, The Independent broke the news that Baroness (Sally) Morgan, the Labour

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 28 Comments

    Clegg says no to childcare ratio changes. My question is: why’s it the Government’s job to dictate them?

    teather_cleggNick Clegg’s statement is categorical — the Coalition is abandoning plans to allow nurseries and childminders in England to look after more children. Revealed in January by Conservative children’s minister Liz Truss, the idea that the ratio for under 2s, for example, could increase from 1:4 to 1:6 was always going to be controversial. Here’s Nick:

    “One of my absolute top priorities in government is to deliver better quality, more affordable childcare for parents up and down the country. I will relentlessly champion and pursue policies that deliver that –

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 29 Comments

    How Ofsted outperforms the Department for Education in the email stakes

    Yesterday I blogged about how only a third of emailed newsletters and circulars sent out by the Department for Education to schools and teachers are read by the recipients.

    I also mentioned that you could choose who to blame for the low readership rate:

    Who is to blame for this? If nothing else I suspect these figures are a good test of your political instincts: are you already thinking the blame lies with Michael Gove and the Department for Education for not making their messages more compelling or with the teachers who aren’t reading them in greater numbers?

    One way of helping …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

    The pupil premium isn’t a quick-fix solution, it’s a long-haul policy

    The pupil premium — additional cash targeted at the most disadvantaged children — is the policy of which Nick Clegg is proudest and with which he is most closely associated. The policy itself dates back to Julian le Grand in the 1980s (when it was touted as a progressive version of school vouchers) but it was Nick who put it firmly in the political mainstream as long ago as 2002 in a pamphlet he co-wrote based on experiences of it working within continental Europe.

    Though the Tories nominally signed-up to the concept of a pupil premium in their 2010 …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

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    • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 24th Oct - 4:42pm
      expats "Whilst I’m sure that all ‘Leavers’ are not ‘racist/right wingers etc,’; I’m also sure that all ‘racist/right wingers etc,’ are ‘Leavers’…" Is there any...
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      Good for the Lib Dems, the only truly non xenophobic party in Britain, and the only party willing to modernise and move with the times....
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      Annabel 24th Oct '16 - 3:23pm.........Sorry, sent before finished. I just want to reassure people that despite the media image of Leavers as racist/right wingers...
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      Annabel Once we’ve got that power back, then we Liberals need to fight for what’s right and not simply assume the country will be run...