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8:20am Thursday 26th April 2012 in Letters
Sir – Readers can certainly cope with Frank Newhofer’s timely reference (Letters, April 19) to the educational works of Professor John Hattie, notably Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement’ (2008) and, hot off the presses, Visible learning for Teachers: Maximising Impact on Learning (2011).
Mr Newhofer’s wise and important letter alludes to John Hattie’s vital message that “the biggest effects on student learning occur when teachers become learners of their own teaching and when students (sic) become their own teachers” (Hattie: 2008).
And no one could disagree with Frank Newhofer’s exhortation that “Any properly committed ‘community’ school will be seeking to extend its efforts into the home”.
The poignant letter (April 19) from a number of past and present parents of puplis at Eynsham Primary School, about the failings and misrepresentations of the school’s recent Ofsted report, which rejects the highly positive views about the school expressed by parents, carers, and pupils, vividly demonstrates the difficulties schools now face with an inspection process which is confrontational rather than collaborative and co-operative, not helped by the fact that the majority of Ofsted inspectors are in effect educational mercenaries, mostly self-employed and on hire to the likes of Tribal plc, ‘a global educational provider’ whose primary consideration must be its currently declining profits and falling share price; and, should a school be placed in special measures, Tribal can then, at a price, offer “packages for improvement”.
It might be hoped that inspections would be carried out by public servants . . . much might be hoped against the condescending tone of the letter to pupils which concludes the (Eynsham) report.
Bruce Ross-Smith, Headington