There are a number of Ofsted myths that are being rebuked by Ofsted themselves this week. Since the overhaul of summer 2015, the first is about whether individual lessons are graded. Joanna Hall, Ofsted’s Deputy Director for schools explains in a bit more detail in this brief video.
“The most important thing is: what’s the impact of teaching, learning and assessment on pupils’ progress.”
It’s also been emphasised that Ofsted does not require self-evaluation to be provided in a specific format. Any assessment that is provided should be part of the school’s business processes and not generated solely for inspection purposes.
Matt O’Leary of the University of Wolverhampton, speaking at a 2015 conference explains why this is good for teachers. “The end of graded lesson observations by Ofsted was an opportunity for teachers to “wrestle back some of the authority and autonomy” that they had lost in recent years.”
“It is time for teachers to reclaim lesson observation”.
A Center for American Progress study notes that The Gates foundation is researching how certain kinds of classroom observations and videotapes of teaching and teacher reflections are related to measures of teacher effectiveness based on student achievement gains on both traditional tests and more intellectually challenging open-ended measures.
Additionally, research by Durham University records that professional behaviours exhibited by teachers such as reflecting on and developing professional practice such as video lesson observation which is a recognised investment in their professional development, do have some impact on student outcomes.
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