Maybe schools should treat Ofsted inspectors (Letters, 30 April) to some of their own medicine as we did. When they came to my very racially diverse urban comprehensive school, all staff were issued with bright yellow forms on which to record every inspector’s visit to a class, and any interaction with students or staff during the lesson. This was done quite overtly, so Ofsted knew what was happening.
Interviews with heads of department and senior staff outside the classroom were audio-recorded. Students knew what was happening and closed ranks against the perceived “enemy”. Behaviour was exemplary, and they all praised the school to the skies.
The head was able to challenge any judgment made – for example, by saying: “But you only saw 10 minutes of that class/year/subject, so how can you make a judgment?”
Ofsted later told the school that it had made inspectors very uneasy and it ensured that they had to back up any criticism. They were also careful to give praise where due. Needless to say, the school was judged to be “outstanding” – but we all knew that anyway.
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