Much has been written, over the last few weeks, about whether teachers should be given lesson grades after observations. After all, OFSTED has said that they no longer give grades to teachers, rather that they take a generic picture of the whole school. Also, Assessment for Learning advice going back to Key Stage 3 Strategy days suggest that a grade gets in the way of constructive feedback for students; why should the same not be true for teachers?
In fact, it is much more complicated a picture than this. Context is everything, as outlined in this blog post. Lesson observations should really only be part of a much bigger picture of quality assurance and school improvement, anyway. Standalone lesson observations, without work scrutiny, progress monitoring over time, student voice, etc, etc, are almost meaningless. Also, as with so much of what OFSTED has “just started to say”, their position has always been broadly the same (just like they haven’t officially ever had a preferred method of teaching). It may now be clearer than has previously been the case, but nonetheless, there hasn’t been the dramatic shift of position that some have suggested.
Where does this leave things? As so often with education, there is no correct answer! It’s about doing what is right for your school, your children, your teachers, and your context. We have done extensive work on designing robust, rounded Quality Assurance programmes for schools, and so are in a very good position to advise about what is right for you and your context. Complete the form, below, to ask for our help in ensuring a constant and relentless drive on improving the quality of Teaching and Learning for your children.