Becta or Ofsted?
Who gets my attention this evening? Reading about the demise of Becta or preparing for Ofsted? The immediate job at hand, Ofsted inspection tomorrow, or the immediate future of iCT, Becta?
Ofsted have been expected for 3-4 weeks now but the comprehensive but manageable IT Services development has taken precedent. Why? Our KS4 progress is on target, but it is a lofty target. We currently have 40% signed off, with more students are signing off each lesson, a much improved CVA and a strong moderators report. With experience we have now identified levels of attainment within our Onenote Worksheets (PMD), set groups now work towards target grades and have injected as much ‘creativity’ as we can, (particularly in Yr 9 unit 4, 22 and 23). Although teaching in Yr 11 is still somewhat ‘mechanical,’ this is for good reason. Students have been asked to complete 3 units in 2 years and fast paced, coursework based examinations are forced to be frugal. After college workshops and accelerated workshops in half term are proven invaluable. I am ‘expecting’ our data recording methods and data to merely satisfy Ofsted. Post Ofsted, my only concern is that are expecting students back after half-term during timetabled ICT lessons to meet that lofty target of 65%? With the aid of the new Grades Database we were able to send personalised letters to all students still working towards their qualification. Its already had an impact with a all teachers responding to parent calls / emails.
Standardisation is still a departmental topic for consideration. One for the new HOD, a HOD that can solely focus on leading the ICT team. ICT now boasts a small group of ‘Digital Leaders,’ break and lunch groups and ICT workshops. KS3 is still in development but a vastly improved curriculum to the one we inherited in 2008. Again – data recording is now available and a new broad banding of groups is proposed for this summer. Finally, in Sept 2010 we will have a fully staff ICT team for the first time, in fact an ICT surplace.
So, why the long winded narrative to outline how Hamble College got to where we are today? During this journey, BECTA have contributed only occasionally. We started on the ICT Mark but didnt complete it, we took advantage of their information services, but we were warned off Moodle. I must admit the ICT Register has been very helpful, Becta? What other projects filter down and support us? I just dont know? . I understand why Bob Harrison bemoans that government “doesn’t appear to have a clue about ICT in schools,” but I am not sure BECTA delivered either?
Who’s going to be the voice for digital technology in learning? I think there’s great danger that if you leave it to head teachers, those who are not visionary about this technology will be left behind.
Now this aspect is a concern but also an opportunity for those 4% of teachers on Twitter, sharing and supporting one another but don’t be mistaken “Good ICT practice does lead to Communities of Practice” and I speak from first hand experience. Ofsted will inspect, make a judgement and leave. Ofsted will have an impact on my professional teaching career at Hamble College. In contrast, I am not sure that Becta’s demise will have an impact, sadly.