Outstanding Criteria - What makes an outstanding education?

Helen's picture
by Helen
My ' outstanding criteria ' for a school would be one where young people left:

- knowing and believing they can effect change in the world for others,
- fully averse in motivating, engaging and communicating with others,
- fully competent in entrepreneurial skills,
- with core values, social purpose, drive, energy and passion,
- AND exam certificates.

It's not so hard - if 11 year olds can do it, why not 16 and 18 year olds?

If anyone is interested, I'll let you know where it's happening.

I find it so hard now to judge outstanding lessons, when my expectation of outstanding is of much higher.

Imagine our futures if they don't leave school with all of this.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Be notified by email of each new post.


Roger Titcombe's picture
Sun, 09/12/2012 - 11:17

Helen - This sounds suspiciously like an advert. My bullshit detector is twitching. Since even the 'outstanding' lessons you see fall well below your expectations, you must believe most pupils in most schools to be on the end of very poor lessons most of the time. I am a severe critic of the education system but even I don't believe that. All of what exactly are our school leavers missing? Please let your light illuminate my ignorance.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Mon, 10/12/2012 - 20:28


the definition of an outstanding education depends on where you are starting from.

While your aspirations and sentiments are admirable it's important you engage with the reality of educating or being one of our many students from very disadvantaged backgrounds.

When we are working with students from who have seriously dysfunctional role models and who struggle to get into school at all, let along in a fit state to learn, it is often 'outstanding' to get them through school and into careers where they can build coherent lives.

The fact that you don't understand why kids of 11 can do it and young adults of 16 often find it very hard gives away your lack of experience in teaching secondary students from challenging backgrounds. It become obvious when you work with them and you come to understand the combined effects of puberty and deprivation.

Andy V's picture
Tue, 11/12/2012 - 15:04

Helen: I would prefer to start with 2 alternative but interlinked questions:

1. What is the purpose and goal of compulsory age education?

2. What does/would a world class compulsory education look like (and how would you assess/gauge/evaluate it)?

Btw under the Sep 12 Ofsted framework there is no such thing as an Outstanding lesson. Rather the focus is rightly on the impact of the quality of teaching that matters. And that is caveated with impact over time. It is the students progress over time that inidcates whether the teaching is of sufficient quality to warrant accredition of the Quality of Teaching to be rated Outstanding.

Indeed it is this that underpins and informs the other 3 Ofsted lens.

So no more lesson plans for the inspectors. No more assessing how well the teacher conducts lesson objectives or plenaries etc. Just what is the qaulity of delivery in relation to the impact it has reflected in and through the robustness and sustainability of student progression over time.

Roger Titcombe's picture
Tue, 11/12/2012 - 15:32

Sorry, struggling here. What you are suggesting needs time travel. How do you judge now, the future impact of a lesson? Progression in what?

Andy's picture
Tue, 11/12/2012 - 16:36

No time travel needed:

1. Take the latest 3 years results
2. Add in the current year school data
3. Set that against the pupil/students starting point on entry to the school

And hey presto one magically can plot the progress a pupil/student has made from entry into the school in question and the Ofsted or other inspection (e.g. LA monitoring or the schools own evaluation).

The quality of teaching element comes into play when comparing all the lesson observations and their evaluation of the learning impact. Again this is the subject areas own plus the senior leadership cycles over the immediate preceding 3 year period + the inspection observations, which if Ofsted the HT and other senior leaders are now invited/encouraged to participate in.

Hope that helps dispel the time traveller’s wife scenario ... :)

May I gentle suggest reading the Sept 12 Ofsted Inspection handbook (pp 34-37 and paragraphs 108 - 115 are an interesting read).

Andy's picture
Tue, 11/12/2012 - 16:36

Oophs, I meant 'gently' apologies.

Add new comment

Already a member? Click here to log in before you comment. Or register with us.