I learnt today that Sir Michael Wilshaw (Head of Ofsted, if you’re lucky enough not to know that) once joked: ‘If anyone says to you that ‘staff morale is at an all-time low,’ you will know you’re doing something right’.
This speaks volumes. The idea that one could equate their own success with a decline in the confidence and self-esteem of another is what any sane person would associate with an aggressive little playground bully, perhaps even a sadistic tyrant. For me this epitomises all that is wrong with school inspection in this country: the latent desire to condemn rather assist.
This is why we need a Royal College of Teachers to take over the school inspection system and really begin to raise the standard of schools in this country. We need the know-how of our highest ranking authorities on learning and teaching, rather than those with the vindictive, deficit mind set Mr Wilshaw clearly displays.
Schools are made up of human beings and human beings have needs, self-esteem is one of them, as in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, remember? (Oh I forgot, Gove doesn’t believe in all that poppy cock theory stuff).
We are surrounded by evidence that nothing will be achieved by scaring the living daylights out of head teachers and teachers but a reactive and weak kind of teaching that becomes less and less effective. Certainly schools need to be held to account; they need to be inspected, but we must change this system to something different before our education system morphs into a gibbering wreck in the corner, unable to function at all.