Ofsted’s Dilemma: Judging Schools by Tactics or Outcomes

Napoleon supposedly remarked that he’d rather have a lucky general than a good one. Should we look at the tactics of the army, the morale, the polish of the general, the savoir faire, or should we judge the outcome of the battle? 

Ofsted, it would appear, increasingly prefer the former. The link between performance (progress 8) and outcomes (grades 1,2,3,4) is becoming looser.

Schools with weak outcomes, where children get worse results than the average, can get a “Good” Ofsted grade if they appear to be doing the “right” thing, even if it doesn’t deliver ultimate victory in the form of exam grades.  Schools doing things not quite so “right” can be marked down, even when they are demonstrably winning for their children.  

Within education, this is a nuanced debate.  Can a school be outstanding before results prove it, or without results?  Can schools with great results be less than good?  What do you think?

Regardless, I wonder which side of the debate Little Bony would have been on.

Au revoir!