• Wilshaw and Carter to clash in first day of evidence

    Sir Michael Wilshaw and Sir David Carter will appear together at the first evidence hearing next week of the select committee’s inquiry into multi-academy trusts. The pair often have differing views, says Neil Carmichael, which should make for an interesting session Next Wednesday the education select committee will begin its inquiry into multi-academy trusts (MATs)

    5.00 Jun. 10th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Someone knock their bloody heads together

    One of the few Shakespearean phrases I knew growing up was “someone knock their bloody heads together”. Unfortunately, I learned one day when I was about 20 that Shakespeare never said it. It’s still a good phrase though. And it’s an important one this week. A problem of politics is that it makes personalities impinge

    5.00 Jun. 10th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Ofsted should take responsibility for primary curriculum bias

    In his latest commentary, Sir Michael Wilshaw said subjects like science and modern languages have become the ‘poor relations’ of the primary school curriculum. Colin Richards argues that Ofsted is in large part responsible for the status quo. Ofsted has a lot to answer for when the chief inspector’s latest monthly commentary dares to criticise primary schools

    9.49 May. 20th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Why we’re all on board in the north east

    Heads in the north east say that teacher recruitment is one of their greatest problems. So its regional network set up a jobs board all of its own – and so far things are blossoming, says Mike Parker It was a scene worthy of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Animal Farm. “Four legs good, two legs

    8.00 Apr. 24th, 2016 | Opinion

  • ‘Can inspectors rate a school in 20 minutes?’

    Teachers and school leaders deserve more than a quick judgment from Ofsted teams. Inspectors should instead make positive and self-aware efforts to challenge and look beyond those instant impressions, says Gerald Haigh. Can HMI tell almost as soon as they arrive at a school just how good (or, presumably, bad) it is? That’s certainly the

    5.00 Mar. 20th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Is having a go at northern schools part of Michael Wilshaw's job description?

    Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw yesterday criticised schools in the north west – but was he within his remit to do so?   I obsess about a few things. Clean and dry kitchen worktops, how to perfectly poach an egg (I’m a cling-film strategy guy and don’t mind split infinitives) and, more recently, brilliant job

    13.27 Feb. 24th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Let’s give Ofsted’s short inspections two cheers (for now)

    The lighter-touch regime is a welcome move, but why is the chief inspector still obsessing over pupils being well behaved and showing respect when finding after finding shows this is the norm in the vast majority of schools? Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s chief inspector is right to point out that since September 2015 it has

    6.00 Feb. 7th, 2016 | Opinion

  • ‘Talking down the job of a headteacher stops people doing it’

    Being a headteacher is a tough job: but it is also a brilliant one. Let’s talk up the positives and encourage the best senior leaders to take on the challenge. It is true that being a headteacher is not an easy task, and that’s not surprising: you have hundreds of young people in your care,

    6.00 Feb. 1st, 2016 | Opinion

  • ‘Health care asks patients to design its services, why don’t we ask pupils?’

    Disengaged pupils can be reconnected to their learning by teachers will to take innovative approaches already seen in the health sector. But do schools have the time, funds and courage to try out these ideas? A year on from the launch of the coalition government’s “workload challenge”, the burden on teachers is still under scrutiny.

    19.00 Jan. 28th, 2016 | Opinion

  • You don’t need to be paid to do a professional job

    Sir Michael Wilshaw is right: governors need professional development. But he’s wrong about the money. It would be a mistake to do away with the voluntary nature of governance altogether Governance is getting better. Boards are taking their development seriously, many more understand performance data than five years ago, and far more are concentrating on

    6.00 Nov. 30th, 2015 | Opinion

  • Governors might be in danger of getting too much attention

    As a chair of governors I agree with Michael Wilshaw’s commentary that “Governance is an issue that does not always get the attention it merits”. That is certainly true of Ofsted inspections which until recently have only given it token attention. It is also true of the research community who have largely neglected it. Government

    14.35 Nov. 19th, 2015 | Opinion