Amongst various other comments which have found Fury to be some way from mainstream opinion is his view that, “a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back. That’s my personal belief. Making me a good cup of tea, that’s what I believe.” When pressed to defend his comments, Fury said later that he has, “no disrespect for women.” Which might seem odd, given what he’d said about those with two XX chromosomes. “I love my women,” he said, “My wife, my mother, my sister in laws, my cousins. What I said is for my wife alone. She knows her place, I know her place.”
Fury seems surprised that the views he has expressed on several different occasions might paint a general picture of what he thinks, that those various views will be discussed widely, and that – despite his caveats - some might see them as views he holds about the wider population. His views, he seems to feel, are only relevant for those for whom he presumes to speak. “People have got to understand that our lifestyle is totally, totally different,” he says.
Similar arguments are used by some within the school’s inspectorate, Ofsted, to claim that Ofsted Inspection reports are specific to the school for which they are written. Ofsted says that we should not read too much into individual inspection reports, or to extrapolate wider expectations from what has been written about a particular educational establishment. Her Majesty’s Inspector David Brown, who is always happy to discuss Ofsted’s practice, makes this very clear in his responses to tweets about my last post regarding Ofsted reports linking pay progression and pupil outcomes:
I asked Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director for Schools (who is, like David Brown, always willing to engage via Twitter) what Ofsted’s current view about linking pay to pupil outputs is. Here is his response:
To Sean’s great credit, when I sent him the research I did for this blog, he immediately asked Ofsted’s policy team to look into this issue, and I await this response with keen anticipation.
How extensive is the problem?
A single school being told to link an individual teacher’s pay progression to pupil outcomes would be worrying. Having looked at the Ofsted reports for the most recent secondary schools rated as being Inadequate as of December 2015, it is clear that this is widespread issue. Here are the relevant sections of the last eight secondary schools placed in special measures:
Alfreton Grange Arts College
“Senior leaders have clearly linked teachers’ performance to the outcome of pupils they teach and the way they develop their own expertise.”
All Saints Academy Dunstable
“Governors ensure that salary progression is dependent on successful outcomes for students, and are challenging school leaders to address any underperformance.”
Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College
“Over time, the system for the performance management of teachers has been ineffective in ensuring good teaching and achievement. A thorough performance management system is now in place to link to teachers’ professional development. However, there has been too little time to ascertain the impact of these changes on the achievements of students.”
Canon Lee School
The “system for managing the performance of teachers has not been thorough, nor has it been linked closely to the progress pupils are making.”
David Young Community Academy
“Improve the strategic leadership of the academy by ensuring that: performance management procedures provide a close link between challenging targets for staff and decisions about pay and salary progression.
“Systems for managing the performance of teachers are inadequate. Targets are not precise enough to hold staff to account for pupils’ performance and there is currently no link between salary progression and pupils’ achievement.”
Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College
“Leaders and governors have not ensured that there is a clear line of sight between pupil progress, staff targets and training and financial reward. The new leadership team have put in place sensible procedures which firmly link the quality of teaching to pay, but it is too soon to evaluate this fully.”
Seaton Burn College, A Specialist Business and Enterprise School
“The arrangements for holding teachers accountable for pupils’ progress lack rigour. However, this has recently improved and new performance management arrangements more directly link pupils’ performance to teachers’ pay and rewards.”
The Dean Academy
“Leaders have implemented many initiatives, policies and procedures which have clear potential to improve the academy rapidly. For example, performance targets for teachers are now aspirational and demand that teachers ensure that pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, make much better progress.”
The broader picture
I took a brief look at Ofsted reports for secondary schools rated Requires Improvement, Good and Outstanding to see whether this is an issue in schools which are not in special measures. It appears that it is.
At Eskdale School, rated RI, inspectors said that, “In the recent past all teachers have received annual pay rises. The headteacher and the governors recognise the need to improve the rigour of the performance management processes and the related pay policy. They are reviewing the systems, but it is too soon to see the impact of the review.”
At Ludlow Church of England School, rated Good, the link between pay and performance is much more subtle, but is clearly in place: “Teaching has improved because leaders ensure that teachers are set clear targets and receive appropriate, targeted and on-going training.”
At Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat Church of England Secondary School, rated Outstanding, the link between pay and pupil progress is explicit, and praised: “The school has clear and precise systems in place to manage the performance of staff in line with the school’s pay policy. Appraisal and pay awards are closely linked to pupils’ progress and literacy development and to the quality of teaching.”
Watching the Watchmen
If we are to have an inspectorate, which seems to be the broad balance of opinion, then those in schools need to be sure that it is doing the difficult job which we ask of it. It must hold schools to account, yes, but it must also ensure that it does not go beyond its remit. In a system which is based on increasing autonomy for schools, schools must be free to make their own decisions within the government’s legislative framework.
As the only written record of inspection to which schools have access, what is written in Ofsted reports is pored over for guidance as to what the Inspectorate expects to see in schools. Just as Tyson Fury has begun to realise that his claim that he is not speaking about the world at large doesn’t wash, Ofsted must also recognise that a pattern of reporting will be interpreted as a clear expectation of schools in general.
Ofsted’s current interpretation of legislation is making the difficult job of working in schools with lower prior attainment even harder, as detailed in my post Want a pay rise? Teach more able children, apparently. I trust that the Inspectorate will make the necessary changes to Ofsted’s practice in time for the next round of pay progression.