[Maths-Education] 4/98 revisions

Jim D.N. SMITH(EDS) D.N.Smith@shu.ac.uk
Wed, 21 Feb 2001 17:00:53 +0000

I refer to Section 21 Part iv of Annex A of the recently circulated"Revising DfEE Cicular 4/98" and quote:

"Ministers have asked that we work closely with OFSTED to investigate
whether a clearer link can be introduced between ITT and school
inspections, and whether, subject to keeping inspection burdens to a
minimum, the profile of ITT work within school inspections can be raised."

I certainly applaud this. It is vital that Ofsted are seen to value the
work with ITT students in school. Too many schools pull out of ITT
arrangements currently, as soon as they find an Ofsted inspection pending.
This is because under curreent Ofsted regulations, no allowance can be
made for the fact that a relatively inexperienced student teacher is
taking a lesson. Schools are judged on the quality of provision, with no
allowance for student teachers contributions. An understandable, if
debatable, response has been to back out of ITT. Indeed, some schools have
backed out permanently under the current regime.

Last year this left me struggling to place 55 student teachers of maths in
to 37 places that were offered. In any subject area this is a disaster. In
a shortage subject area it is a national folly not to have enough places.

The link with Ofsted should provide a much needed encouraging boost to
reluctant schools, I urge all involved to make this work.

Jim D N Smith BSc MEd BA
Mathematics Education Centre
School of Education
Sheffield Hallam University
36 Collegiate Crescent
S10 2BP


0114 225 2349 desk
0114 225 2339 fax


Common-sense is unexamined theory.