Okay, get your heads out of the muck, this is not a low-down on smear tests but rather a quick glance into the grinding of school gears when an Ofsted visit is announced. My apologies, maybe it is a bit like a smear test. You know you’re going to be asked to drop your knickers (metaphorically), you’re going to be probed verbally and you just know that whatever they use is not going to be warmed or lubed up enough to make the whole process less uncomfortable. It does not matter how much you psyche yourself up, how much you prepare, whether or not you’ve washed, plucked and powdered a hundred times, the whole thing is going to be excruciatingly awkward. The least you can hope for is that you remember your breath mints and the most that remnants of your daughter’s glitter make-up wasn’t on the towel when you dried yourself.
All the teachers are stressed out, their smiles plastic and foreheads shining with a film of sweat. They grit their teeth and pretend, pretend, pretend that they’re coping while within their chests their hearts shake to stave off an imminent explosion and their brains slowly reach meltdown stage. And all for what? So that over the course of two days a bunch of people who have no idea how fantastic our staff are can give their verdict on how well we run. They need to see us in action for more than two days to get a real feel for how wonderful our school is but I fear that if they were here for more than two days several members of staff would spontaneously combust. That would be a definite black mark on our record.
So, hand me a ruler and razor and let’s prepare. Brazilian or heart shapes?
02/11/2012 – an update. I take it all back. Ofsted Inspectors are wonderful intuitive people. They must be, they gave us a 1-outstanding!