Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh what a beautiful morning

The back of our house faces west as did the back of our two previous houses - we often get beautiful sunsets and it's one of the things I'm most looking forward to - being able to sit in my conservatory (with roof, she says hopefully) and watch the sky change through all those beautiful colours in an evening.

The photo shows something a little rarer. A fabulous sun rise - not sure I'm so keen, as the old wive's tale says 'Red sky in the morning, Shepherd's warning' so maybe we're in for an unpleasant day weather wise. However it looked so pretty I just had to get the camera out.

Yesterday when I arrived at work we had the news that, as a school, we'd all been dreading - we are to be ofsteded next Monday and Tuesday. We are overdue but it's a bit mean to spring it on us just before Christmas.

For those of you unfamiliar with the UK education system each school is visited from time to time by government inspectors to check that we are doing all we should. The process has probably been going on since schools first began in some format, but, over the past decade or two, our 'nanny state political set up' (of all persuasions I might add) decided that teachers had no idea how to teach or run a school and so would have their premises, work and practices gone through with a fine tooth comb every five or six years at the very least.

When the process was first introduced it turned out to be a dreadful thing to undergo with hoards of people sitting in on endless lessons and delving into all manner of things like where you bought your loo rolls from and at what price etc etc ad nauseum.

Failing schools obviously benefitted from such close scrutiny but good schools endured endless stress, aggravation and often trauma just to put statistics on the league table obsessed government's figures.

Obviously, with such a labour intensive and expensive process, reality has finally had to kick in and current inspections have become more humane as the powers that be have realised that the whole system was just unsustainable.

So while an Ofsted inspection isn't the blood chilling spectre that once sat on the horizon it's still not a pleasant process and of course yesterday the headteacher was doing a fair impersonation of a headless chicken.

I have to say that maybe ignorance is bliss and, having never been in post in a school office when such an inspection is happening, I'm not losing any sleep - if they ask me difficult questions I shall have to refer them to our area finance officer and plead ignorance due to my novice status.

Roll on next Wednesday!!!

Stitching wise I've been chipping away at my Christmas list.

Parent's In Law's cushion fronts completed and one of the 'Joy' wallhangings bound. Loads more to do - so must keep stitching!


Hedgehog said...

At home we say 'red sky in morning, sailors take warning, red sky at night, sailors delight'. I love the shepherd version!

joyce said...

When I was a kid in a one-room country school we used to get visits from the "inspector" and it freaked everyone out. They don't do that anymore over here. THankfully.

quiltpixie said...

whether you're worried about the inspection or not, working in an environment where others are will take its toll the next few days.... Hope "the storm" is over and done with as fast as it appeared... :-)

floribunda said...

I'm enjoying my mental image of your headteacher's headless chicken act! Thanks for that and the beautiful photo.

Ann said...

What a beautiful sunrise. Did you have bad weather that day, as the old wives tale predicted? We are having some awful weather here (middle of the US) today and both hubby and son are "stranded" in the towns they work in because the ice has made it to dangerous for them to attempt the drive home.

Carol said...

That sunrise photo is gorgeous!! You could sell that one.

Fiona said...

Oooh, the dreaded OFSTED inspection - whatever you do, don't offer them a biscuit with their tea - they might report you for offering a bribe ;-) As it happens, I used to be an Investors in People Assessor (much more people friendly than OFSTED) and I assessed quite a few schools in my time.

Libby said...

I love to see the sun rise. So many romantics dwell on the sunset when the sunrise is what brings a fresh, new day.

Lily said...

Anne those Christmas projects are coming along very nicely!

A beautiful sunrise - it makes the heart sing doesn't it.

Not nice to be inspected just before Christmas!! Oh well, at least it will be over and done with :)