Inverse Proportionality

Here’s the thing. I teach maths. I have noticed that there is a rule of inverse proportionality when it comes to inspections. (This means that as one thing goes up, another thing goes down.)

I have worked in schools, prisons and colleges (plural is technically correct, but I am stretching it). In the places where the standard of work was high, less effort needed to be made in advance of inspections. In the places where the quality was low, the effort increased. This is my hypothesis: ‘the better the teaching, the less extra effort is made at the last minute in advance of inspections.’

I would like to know whether this is true. Maybe I should ask an Ofsted inspector. I could have asked one tonight, except she decided not to pop in to my lesson. Hmm.

Let it be said that I did my usual job and put in the same kind of hours of preparation and marking that I would normally expect to (something like triple what I am paid for). On top of this, I was asked to retype my lesson plan from 5 useful pages to 3 Ofsted-proof pages with extra pages of information attached. I also had to attend a meeting about how to make ourselves look better, without necessarily being better. I did not appreciate having to jump around hoops which we are supposed to jump through, but who am I to question things… I only come from an outstanding department in an outstanding school and have the ear of a retired inspector when I have questions…?

The rest of the Inspectables spent all weekend typing more schemes, lesson plans, group profiles, marking examples and subject folders than can possibly be called upon in less than two days by fewer than two people. I fear we may not have exceeded our ‘unsatisfactory’ status by much, if at all.

Still, I won’t take it personally. There are more important things in life.


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