We should all feel lucky that Dirty Harry’s hit town

There are few in the teaching profession who don’t admire Sir Michael Wilshaw, the new Chief Inspector of Schools. As head of Mossbourne School in Hackney and Hackney Downs he proved that with the right leadership and a no nonsense, no excuses culture, schools can deliver the education our children deserve.
Despite cries of ‘education, education, education’ from politicians, British education remains second rate. As if to emphasise the point, this week we learned that Bulgaria and Poland have more children achieving ‘A’ level standard than we do in Britain. Shameful, isn’t it? It really isn’t good enough.
We have consistently let down our children, squandered their talent and allowed an excuse culture to thrive. Michael Wilshaw has proved that if you set high expectations and establish a no excuse culture, and have strong competent leadership in a school, miracles can be achieved. So when a tough, determined character like Michael Wilshaw is appointed Chief Inspector, we should all rejoice.
In an after dinner speech he once likened himself to Dirty Harry. It’s a name that’s probably going to stay with him, but maybe that’s no bad thing. He’s already given notice that there are too many schools coasting along in the ‘satisfactory’ category – a category which he is abolishing. These schools will now be classified as ‘require improvement’, and if they don’t improve they’ll be put right.
He’s clearly got it in for teachers who don’t perform too. Many are probably going to ‘make his day’. And if schools who are currently classified as ‘outstanding’ – a category too heavily based on results alone – don’t have outstanding teachers, they’re going to find that they’ve been taken down a notch. Inspections? They’re going to happen unannounced so there’ll be no advanced preparation, no fudging. Could produce some interesting results!
Let’s wish Michael Wilshaw good luck and let’s hope he gets the support he deserves and that our children get the education they deserve…soon!

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