365 days in my shoes Day 330


This post has arisen from a series of tweets which really tickled my fancy.

Mocksted, Micksted, Poxsted, OFSOD, CoughSTED!

Have you got the O-Factor?

What about Offstedders?


20 things you won’t hear an OFSTED inspector say:

‘I blame the parents.’

‘Who needs objectives anyway?’

‘Oh, I wish I was still a class teacher.’

‘Frankly, you are working far too hard.’

‘Try to do your marking with a little more pace.’

‘Is your Headteacher always that stupid?’

‘You run an after-school club and don’t get paid for it? That’s a disgrace!’

‘I was never much of a teacher myself.’

‘Let me take the lesson to show you what I mean.’

‘Come on folks, grab a clipboard – inspect me!!’

‘Well, I can see I’m not needed here.’

‘Hello children, I’m your teacher’s little helper!’

‘Let me take you all to the pub and buy you lunch.’

‘Give me two minutes and I’ll have my PE kit on.’

‘I’m going to propose that your senior management team be publicly tortured.’

‘I shall be helping the caretaker clean the toilets if anybody wants me.’

‘Anybody want a coffee?’

‘If you do what I suggest and still fail, I’ll resign.’

‘It’s who you know, not what you know.’

‘Just forget the plenary. They’re not bloody listening anyway.’


If… well, almost

If you can please your head when all about you
Are losing files and blaming it on you;
If you can dust your shelves while others shout,
But make allowance for their shouting too;
If you can backdate the paperwork that’s waiting,
And lie when asked if you should improvise,
And don’t be late, ‘cause they’ll be waiting,
To make you look no good and less than wise.

If you can scream but make it sound like laughter;
If you can drink yet clarify your aims;
If you can give them all the bumph they’re after,
Whilst still you treat each one with just disdain;
If you can bear to see the crap you’ve mumbled
Twisted by fools to make a trap for you,
Or watch the posters that adorn your classroom crumpled,
And stoop and patch them up with worn out glue.

If you can make one heap of all your records,
And risk that they will only scan the top,
And fail, because they take one from the middle,
Then gather them and burn the bloody lot;
If you can find your schemes of work, your planning file and your assessments,
And put them on display until they’ve gone,
And hope that they won’t spot there’s nothing in them,
Except some made-up notes set out all wrong.

If you can talk to kids as though they like you,
And let their parents think you have the magic touch;
If neither forms nor teacher grades can hurt you;
If all the staff believe you’ve done too much.
If you can fill the uninspected minute,
With Sixty seconds worth of secret fun
Yours is the report and everything that’s in it.
And – for twelve more months – you can relax my son.


The Paperwork Stuff

The Ofsted team
Are arriving soon
Singing their old
Familiar tune

“Hand over your policies!”
They’ll sternly demand
“We can never get enough
Of the paperwork stuff”

“Let’s have your poly drugs
And your poly first aid
We expect each one
To be tailor made”

“We want a policy for this
And a policy for that
By the way Dr. Ash
Do you happen to have one
For your black and white cat?”

“We want bullying, behaviour
And child protection too
Special Needs, race relations
And equal opportunities
To name but just a few”

Their appetites
Have now been whetted
And there’s plenty still
Needing to be vetted

“We want more and more”
They roar
“You see we simply can’t get enough
Of the paperwork stuff!”


Now they have
Just about everything
From years of reports
To timetabling
Info from the CRB
Details of each IEP
The syllabus
And the action plus
Lists of those with SEN
And a chance to practise
With an epipen
Self evaluations
And qualifications
Early years
And those all important

Surely by now
They’ll be tired and feeling rough
Having sifted through piles
Of the paper work stuff

But to everyone’s surprise
They still have bright eyes
Ready for the next section
The dreaded classroom inspection

“Now children
You mustn’t forget
When he comes in
Please don’t make a din
Can’t you tell
Your teacher’s not well?

“I’ve been feeling quite sick
All of this week
Every night unable to sleep
There’s no doubt about it
This business with Ofsted
Has given me a terrible head.”

Now it was time
And through the door
Prowled the visitor
There wasn’t a sound
As he padded around

He sniffed the air
And meticulously scrutinised everywhere
But then he came to a sudden stop
As he felt his eyes start to pop

What was it he saw
On the classroom floor?
“Give that to me!”
He roared

The teacher then gave him
Several very large piles
Bursting at the seams
With folders and files

“Who owns this lot?”
He grimly enquired
“Don’t you see?”
The teacher said
“They all belong to ME!”

We are the Ofsted team
Of paperwork we constantly dream
Give us more and more
We implore
We simply can’t get enough
Of the paperwork stuff

At last he’s found
What he’s been searching for
So now he heads
Straight for the door

He finds himself
A quiet place
In which to savour
A very fine taste

You see he’s
One of the Ofsted team
Of paperwork they constantly dream
Give us more and more
They implore
They simply can’t get enough
Of the paperwork stuff.
(P. Ash 2004)


1 thought on “365 days in my shoes Day 330

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