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Personal reflections on my Ofsted years [1991 – 2006] Andrea Tapsfield.

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Presentation on theme: "Personal reflections on my Ofsted years [1991 – 2006] Andrea Tapsfield."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personal reflections on my Ofsted years [1991 – 2006] Andrea Tapsfield

2 1991 Early days as an ITT HMI HMI invited into universities Dual system existed Inspections of ITT were fairly low key affairs Teacher training was supplier-led CATE – Council for the Accreditation of Teachers What was geography ITT like in the early 90s?

3 Quotes about geography from an internal report on Secondary PGCE courses in 1991 Courses are well designed and provide appropriate and adequate preparation for the geography National Curriculum Many geography students take geology as a second subject The role of geography in relation to environmental education, economic understanding and the use of IT seems to be appreciated by most tutors A few students were in departments with no scheme of work and where guidance on supervision of students was inadequate Students were encouraged to read widely High turnover of specialist staff through retirement. In a third of the departments visited, staff were in their first year in post.

4 1991 report on the impact of Circular 24/89 on the training of primary school teachers for humanities The Circular required students to be trained to teach all the NC core and foundation subjects Time for curriculum courses in both BEd and PGCE falls short of what is needed for the adequate preparation of students intending to teach the NC in schools In geography, some lecturers had little or no experience of the primary age groups In most PGCE courses, subject application is either absent or dealt with through the writing of an extended essay Main finding - the quality of support for the NC within primary schools is likely to be affected adversely if subject application continues to get the scant attention and low priority that it currently receives

5 New teacher in school survey New primary teachers considered their training provided insufficient coverage of non-core subjects New primary teachers subject specialisms were under-utilised. The survey revealed a tension between the SoS accreditation criteria for ITT and the expectations of schools. Only 8% of HT considered that a subject specialism was an important criterion when appointing a new teachers. Even into the third term of the NQT year, heads were not certain of the teachers subject specialism Recommendation: Primary training in the future will need to give more attention to foundation subjects if new teachers are to feel reasonably well prepared to cover the National Curriculum


7 1991 to 1996 All change! Jan 92, Kenneth Clarke announced he wanted 80% of ITT to take place in schools – SCITTs in 1993 Circular 9/92 specified competences for the outcomes of secondary training HMI were moved from the DFE; Ofsted was created in 1992 The SoS wrote to HMCI your regular inspections will be the keystone of policies to ensure the continued improvement of ITT HMI and the HEFCE agreed to cooperate in assessing ITT - attached inspectors appointed In Jan uar y 19 92

8 1991 to 1996 All change! Primary training was not immune from change – C14/93 introduced the six-subject BEd In 1994 the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) was established A quality framework with teeth was introduced A difficult relationship between TTA officers and HMI through most of the 90s, with institutions caught in the middle.

9 The 90s were a time of ITT expansion of places but the late 90s saw a recruitment crisis

10 Subject inspection treadmill 1996 – 2002 The amount of inspection activity rose sharply Expectation all courses will be good The quality grade from inspection had a direct impact on funding allocations. Primary courses inspected every two years in literacy and numeracy 7 primary geography courses were inspected These inspections showed that there were worrying features which threatened the sustained provision of a pool of well qualified geography specialists.

11 Subject inspection treadmill 1996 – 2002 In secondary there was the individual inspection of subjects by specialists. The new approach and methodology brought deep disquiet through the sector Virtually constant inspection for some providers The late 1990s also saw greater diversity in provision – fast track, flexible routes, GTP.

12 Geography secondary courses inspection outcomes

13 2002 – 2006 Management rules! The focus of inspection has shifted yet again Whole course inspection, with management and quality assurance to the fore The buzzword has been reducing the burden Only a proportion of the subjects in a provider are inspected.

14 Looking back – looking forward Substantial improvement in ITT quality Excellent colleagues in the HMI team. Have we been tough but fair? I have enjoyed some inspirational sessions. Trainees have got better and better. Issues remain – part-time tutors, RAE does not benefit PGCE quality, low salaries Geography ITT has gained from partnership with schools Where next? - Recent TDA focus on subject knowledge - Management/QA inspection - redress the allocations imbalance? And finally – thanks

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