So I got into school this morning at my normal time of about 7.45. Got my toast and a cup of coffee. My paths crossed with the Head at around 8.00 and the conversation went as follows:
"Good morning - hey I had a dream last night and I never usually knowingly dream!"
"Oh yes, what was that about?"
"Well, I dreamed of school and I never normally do that either!!"
"It was wierd, I dreamt that Ofsted phoned today and said they were coming in on Tuesday and it was so real, I woke up believing it!"
"Oh don't - we don't want that and anyway, they might not give us that much notice."
The day continued until half way through my maths lesson at around 10.30 when an ashen faced Headteacher beckopned me outside through the glass door.
"I'm not kidding you, I promise," He said, "Ofsted have just phoned - they're coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday next week!"
I was more spooked by my premonition than by the 'O' word!! To say I was shaking for a while was an understatement.
....but it's true - You can imagine the rest of the day, (well, those of you in education certainly can) Total panic as conference calls were had with the lead inspector, Timetables and staff lists collected and emailed through, Staff meetings were held and the Pre Inspection Briefing was scrutinised and copied for all relevant managers. Not to mention, the beginnings of endless lists being written of all that needs to be collected over the weekend.
The weekend is now officially a write off. In school all weekend to panic quietly until found gibbering incoherantly in the corner of the staffroom.
It's a strange sensation; I personally don't care about the outcome, (incidentally, I didn't dream that part unfortunately!) I don't care about the findings or subsequent action plans but I do care passionately about allowing our staff, parents and children to be part of something that is at least 'satisfactory' ideally 'good' or even 'excellent'! The whole staff give more than 100% to this school and their children. Every lesson is delivered with passion and enthusiasm, every child is cared for and nurtured, and the thought of someone who hasn't taught for years potentially condeming it as not good enough is so stressful words cannot explain.
Visit a school just pre an inspection and then support the current politicians and their new and whacky theories of teaching. If there is anything that squashes a creative curriculum - it's Ofsted: Christmas rehearsals, exciting DT lessons, the positive staff/pupil relationships - all out the window until the doom is over, our fate sealed and we can, once agian, begin to pick up the pieces, dust ourselves off and probably 'coast' to the end of term!!