I apologise. It’s all my fault.


We counted all our reasons, excuses that we made
We found ourselves some treasure, and threw it all away
What you waiting for?
What you waiting for?
What you waiting for?
What you waiting for?

When I dance alone, and the sun’s bleeding down,
Blame it on me
When I lose control and the veil’s overused,
Blame it on me
What you waiting for?
What you waiting for?


George Ezra, Blame it on me.


It was inevitable.  Once RAISE has is published, Oftsed followed up with rays of sunshine. I particularly enjoyed catching up with Wilshaw’s Radio 4 interview.  So schools need closer monitoring?  Like LEAs with specialist advisors?  I could, of course, point out that careers education went (together with work experience) and blame that on the Tories destroying the Connexions service.  Or I could point out that, if there was a cross-party moratorium on curriculum change, teachers and leaders could focus upon what Wilshaw quite rightly points out as the most important thing: the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.   I could point out that it would be great to reduce workload by employing more, quality teachers, but someone put up employer pension contributions at the same time as reducing school budgets.  Perhaps Wilshaw, a champion of ensuring that students come first, should take a more holistic view of where the problems lay?  Does the blame rest solely with schools, or perhaps the Government of the day may have some influence?  You’d hope so anyway as an awful lot of cash goes in to the DfE. Especially to the logo designers……..

It’s not as if schools haven’t got anything else to do…


(Levels infographic source – Capita Sims)

Now, I haven’t been posting much for ages, and I’m my stance against Oftsed (et al) bashing is well documented (I’m a teacher not a Gove basher), so I’m not going to bang on about how it’s everyone else’s fault.  I enjoyed going to Worthing’s TEDx event recently and on my way over to speak to some PGCE students, it came upon me.

It’s my fault.

Come for me.  Here I am.  Me. Personally. 

Blame me from the top, or from the bottom for sure. 

Or, should the responsibility for the progress of every single child be the responsibility of every single adult in a school?

The blame culture is not useful as it rubs off.  Teachers start seeing where else the blame can lay, be it poor leadership or poor behaviour.  Perhaps too many students are from deprived backgrounds, or perhaps it’s because the students haven’t turned up for enough lessons?  Teachers need to be accountable for what happens within classrooms, but within a culture of support.  If schools are the answer for the future UK economy, then we’re all in it together.  Ofsted would be a tool to help improve the life chances of young people; to work with schools not against.  To be fair, many of the Ofsted inspections that I’ve been involved with have done just that.  Shame that the boss doesn’t get the message – should we expect him to run for an upcoming MP in May….

The blame culture isn’t useful as it narrows the focus upon the narrow goal of allowing students to achieve academic qualifications.  It needs to be wider and encompass the development of character and traits that allow young people to be ready for the 21st century life.  This doesn’t mean being able to programme, it means do they leave our institutions with the following:


Thanks to Thinking Allowed for the inspiration, further developed during my #TLT14 talk.

If they don’t leave as decent human beings, then why are we doing this for? (apologies for ad):

So. Blame it on me as I’m in leadership.  Blame it on us because, although we may not set the national agenda, we do make the weather in our schools (thank you Vic Goddard). We do indeed. 

2014-09-27 16.43.48

It’s my fault, too busy taking selfies maybe?  Now we can move on.

So what messages shall we pass on?  Should be looking to apportion blame like politicians, or shall we do the proper important work.  The work which is in and out of classrooms each day, keeping the main thing teaching and learning.  No doing things for Ofsted, but doing it because it makes teaching and learning better.

Anyway,  I could leave teaching but bugger that.  This job is way too much fun and way too rewarding.  Time to act as a stronger umbrella.  We will win.

Now, listen to this and feel better (apologies for ads and language)

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