Superteachers needed for “mediocre schools” says Ofsted chief
The head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, outlined concerns surrounding the standard of education the poorest children were receiving and cited the need for a team of “superteachers” to step in.
A group of National Service Teachers will be assembled directly by central government, rather than by local authorities, many of which Sir Michael believes to be “failing” children nationwide.
In a speech in London, the head of Ofsted blasted the wide variety in regional performance, and criticised teaching methods where poor children were concerned. This news follows a report which gathered data on performance nationwide.
“These poor, unseen children can be found in mediocre schools the length and breadth of our country. They are labelled, buried in lower sets, consigned as often as not to indifferent teaching,” he remarked.
He continued: “They coast through education until – at the earliest opportunity – they sever their ties with it.”
The team of National Service Teachers will intervene in parts of the country that fail to employ more accomplished teachers, and would allow poorer children to benefit from a higher standard of teaching.
Among other policies, Sir Michael hopes to introduce “sub-regional” versions of the London Challenge, an initiative known to have turned around many underperforming schools.
Under this scheme, schools were encouraged to provide assistance to one another; successful schools and teachers worked with those less so.
Sir Michael spoke of the report: “[It] shows that poverty of expectation is a greater problem than material poverty because we know of examples of schools serving areas of great disadvantage that are doing very well by their children.”
The speech marks 20 years since Ofsted published its first report on the education barriers of disadvantaged children.