A report published by think tank Civitas has found that Ofsted penalises the traditional “chalk and talk” methods used by English teachers.
Citivas’ findings were based on two sets of Ofsted reports, each containing evaluations of 130 schools.
The first set of Ofsted reports focused on secondary schools, and Civitas found that 18% of the teachers evaluated were criticised for talking too much. The report stated that teachers were “accustomed to putting on ‘jazzy’ lessons, replete with group work, role play and active learning in order to fulfil what has become widely acknowledged as the ‘Ofsted style’” and found that 52% of the reports analysed demonstrated a preference for lessons in which pupils learnt ‘independently’ form teacher instruction.
Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw told inspectors in January to, “Think carefully before criticising a lesson because it doesn’t conform to a particular view of how children should be taught.”
The report later calls for the revoking of Ofsted’s power to grade the quality of teaching so that schools have the“professional autonomy to focus on what teaching methods work best.”
In response to the report, Ofsted stated that “The arguments put forward in this report are largely reheated ones.
“What matters to Ofsted is what matters to parents – ensuring that schools are delivering the best possible education for their children.
“As HM chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has repeatedly made clear, Ofsted does not have a preferred teaching style. It is up to the classroom teacher to determine how they should teach.”