At some media whore shindig early in the summer I bumped into Michael Gove and asked,
politely, if he would mind very much making me the boss of Ofsted. After all, I had once employed him as a reporter – it seemed the least that he could do. He was sadly non-committal; I have
waited for a letter of appointment, none has come.
However, I like to think he absorbed some of my drunken rant that evening, because this week he has castigated Ofsted for giving hundreds of schools an “outstanding” when actually, as
we all know, they’re utterly bloody useless. Schools often get very high marks from Ofsted if the average intake has the IQ of a bowl of tomato soup and they emerge five years later without
having killed anyone. To understand Ofsted reports you must read between the lines. Only a few of their marks matter: attainment, where if they get an “outstanding” it’s at least
a good sign, and the one about cultural awareness where if they get an “outstanding” it’s a very, very bad sign indeed. And of course Ofsted is far more interested in slightly
improving the prospects for children with the IQ of a bowl of soup than it is for enhancing the prospects of the brightest kids. I’m still available, Mikey-G, if the post’s free.