FHT: Thank you for welcoming me into your Requires Improvement school. I realise the previous head was very popular but that is about to change. I am under enormous pressure to improve results here.
Teacher: Is that why you observed everyone in your first week?
FHT: Absolutely. I have to report back to my bosses who run hundreds of schools. I appreciate that most of you were given inadequate gradings (you know it was inadequate but I wasn’t allowed to tell you in so many words).
Teacher: But most of us are great teachers. Why didn’t you just tell us what you wanted to see and then observe us in four weeks? It seems a little unfair. It feels like you are purposely catching us out.
FHT: I agree. I have to prove my impact to the bosses. If I make a baseline assessment of the teaching I see first, then I can tell you what to do to improve – whether you need to or not. After a term I can then tell my bosses what a difference I have made. In fact, I have already written on my action plan that 30% of you will be good again by the end of the summer term.
Teacher: That’s a bit weird. So is that why we have to test the children now every four weeks? To prove progress is happening?
FHT: Yes. Lots of testing. Proof of progress will keep me in a job.
Teacher: But it all seems a little excessive? I think it might turn children off learning and teachers off teaching? We only used to do formal testing three times a year. It was appropriate. Do you expect to see progress every four weeks from these tests? That’s about 8+ tests!
FHT: Yes. And if progress isn’t seen, I will freeze your pay.
Teacher: Well. I know what teachers will start doing.
FHT: What’s that?
Teacher: Never mind.