(Un)Satisfactory Teaching or Inconsistent?

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.

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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.

For more RSA content subscribe to the RSA lectures here RSA Audio iTunes Podcast iTunes | RSA Audio RSS Feed RSS and there are some cracking CPD to listen to.

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?


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Why IF is important

Yesterday the DfE press release informed us of a ‘New national reading competition to create a generation of book lovers.‘ A competition open to all seven- to 12-year-olds at schools in England. It will launch in the autumn. Hmmm? I am interested in hearing how reading becomes a competition? Is reading best served as a competition? When is reading best served by being competitive? I am not doubting the need to improve reading standards, after all that is why I am passionate about IF.

  • One in 10 boys leaves primary school with the reading age of a seven-year-old.
  • 15 per cent of seven-year-olds do not reach the expected level (level 2) in reading.
  • 16 per cent of 11-year-olds do not achieve the expected level (level 4) in reading.

Now IF can be competitive and it can easily be designed to measure progress. I wonder how I would get IF into Nick Gibbsr eyeline? What is more, many of the target group could take their IF with them, on their phones. Can anyone help me let Nick Gibb know about IF?

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Triptico ‘Think Link Plus’

David Riley has got the bit between his teeth on this Triptico app. Having made some suggestions on Monday, I received a couple of late evening emails early morning emails with a few updates. These updates are not yet live on at http://www.triptico.co.uk/hex.html but will be soon. We still need your ideas and feebback.

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