In the wake of the RSA report (Un)Satisfactory? Enhancing Life Chances by Improving ‘Satisfactory’ Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw, said he wants to send a message that “satisfactory” is now unsatisfactory and that more schools should be pushing for the higher rating of “good”.
In terms of school improvement, the report highlighted that:
- Schools are more likely to be graded ‘satisfactory’ or ‘inadequate’ if they have previously been judged ‘satisfactory’ – hence suggesting a lower capacity to improve among these ‘longer term’ satisfactory schools.
- Schools with high proportions of disadvantaged pupils are more likely to decline from ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ grades, than are schools with advantaged pupil populations.
- ‘Satisfactory’ schools with disadvantaged pupil populations are significantly less likely to improve at the next inspection than are those with advantaged populations.
I had bookmarked the report for later reading when a RT (Retweet) over the weekend provided a link to an RSA podcast of Sir Michael Wilshaw discussing school improvement with Professor Becky Francis, RSA director of education.
I was pleased to hear that Professor Becky Francis recognised that there is in fact good practice in ‘satisfactory’ schools, its just that it is ‘inconsistent.’ Also that it is important to incentivise the best teachers to teach in satisfactory schools (what that looks like we were not told) and promote professional learning groups, structure school to school support rather than underlining the draconian extrinsic motivation ‘pay’ argument. Which we know does not work for long enough.
Interesting enough, there is already conversation between online colleagues on how schools will tackle this particularly vibrant debate. All this in a week where the #AskGove hashtag was used to engage teachers and open up the debate of the Parliamentary Select Committee. Now also available on Youtube. What Bond villain would you be?