Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Dr Mary Bousted certainly didn’t pull her punches when she addressed her union’s annual conference this morning. Here, we look at the full list of people and organisations who earned her ire.
The former education secretary got a whopping 20 mentions during Dr Bousted’s speech (Kudos to Greg Hurst at The Times who first did the maths on this). She said one of his flagship policies had failed. She only mentioned his successor Nicky Morgan six times.
It’s probably fair to say Dr Bousted isn’t the inspectorate’s biggest fan. In fact, that would be an understatement.
“The evidence is now overwhelming – Ofsted isn’t working. And on this point, this Lady is not for turning.
“Ofsted is an agency beset with internal and external cracks which can, no longer, be papered over. Ofsted is plagued with quality control problems and has, not a credibility gap, but a credibility chasm with the teaching profession which does not have confidence in the quality of the inspection team that might turn up at their school gate.”
The qualifications regulator didn’t have an easy ride of it either…
“A tsunami of curriculum and qualification changes threaten to engulf schools and colleges as Ofqual, the qualification agency, marches on – leaving dismay and devastation in its wake.
“Ofqual is staffed by fundamentalists – true believers who worship – the exam. Ofqual is a seeker of certainty – certainty that the timed written exam can assess a subject’s core knowledge; certainty that the grades awarded by exam boards are accurate and reliable – infallible; certainty that written exams can assess practical skills – such as speaking and listening in English, or laboratory work in science.
“Like all fundamentalists, Ofqual is not prepared to engage with debate and uncertainty. It is not, indeed, prepared to engage in debate at any price.”
She may only have got six mentions, but Nicky Morgan was still in the firing line, mostly over the workload challenge and the fact she didn’t turn up to the conference…
“You would think, would you not, that Nicky Morgan would want to talk to teachers, as well as to school leaders. Particularly when she has made such an issue of being concerned about teachers and their workload. Or has the workload challenge served its purpose?
“Nicky Morgan had a golden opportunity with the workload challenge to do something real, something tangible, about excessive teacher workload. More than 44,000 teachers told her that accountability demands and in-school bureaucracy were the two main drivers of workload.
“ATL is clear that these two causes are linked – and that too many school leaders, driven by fear of inspection, drive their teaching staff to do things which add not one jot to the quality of teaching in the school – but to busy work, filling forms, inputting data, using three different coloured pens for ‘deep marking’ and so on.
“The workload challenge was a golden opportunity to do something about Ofsted but this opportunity was lost and, instead, those teachers who took the time and trouble to respond have found themselves on a DfE database, with further friendly communications from Nicky Morgan – just in the period of the run up to the general election. Could there be a connection, do you think?”
20 mentions. Seriously.
You can read the full speech text here.