There is clear evidence that Quality of Teaching grades are the same as the Overall Effectiveness grade given by OFSTED. Both are driven by (highly dubious analysis of) achievement data and are not altered by the observations inspectors make in the few hours they spend in schools before judging a school.
Observations, which are extremely subjective, can show whatever the observer wishes to observe. As Professor Robert Coe says, ‘If your lesson is judged ‘Inadequate’ there is a 90% chance that a second observer would give a different rating.’ If an inspector wants to judge teaching to be a particular grade, they can. The grade inspectors give reflects the (dubious) data, not the quality of teaching.
Most recently, Policy Exchange published Watching the Watchmen, in which authors Harriet Waldegrave and Jonathan Simons note that the ‘Achievement subgrade agrees most strongly with the overall grade, for both primaries and secondaries, followed very closely by the Quality of Teaching subgrade.’ (p26)
Watching the watchmen includes the following graphs to bring this relationship home:
David Didau sums up the feeling of most of those working in schools when he says that ’the commonly held view amongst most teachers and school leaders is that a lead inspector makes a preliminary judgement based on a school’s RAISE online data and then turns up in classrooms looking for confirmation of a decision that has already been made.’
Where an education commentator makes the assumption that OFSTED Quality of Teaching grades are a reflection of the teaching in a given school, any case, policy or commentary built on this assumption is fundamentally flawed.