OFSTED criticises SLTs’ misguided lesson observation criteria- the end of mini-plenaries?

Today’s Chief Inspector’s report helpfully brings into question some Senior Leadership Teams’ assumptions about what passes for good learning. I am particulalry pleased to see 3 sacred cows being put to the sword. Firstly

Over-detailed and bureaucratic lesson plans
– Excessive detail within these plans can cause
teachers to lose sight of the central focus on pupils’


An inflexible approach to planning lessons –
Some school policies insist that all lesson plans
should always follow the same structure, no matter
what is being taught. The key consideration should
be the development of pupils’ learning rather than
sticking rigidly to a format.

Finally a preoccupation with

Constant review of learning in lessons – In
lessons observed, significant periods of time were
spent by teachers on getting pupils to articulate
their learning before they had completed enough
work. Indeed, inspectors observed lessons where
pupils were asked to self- or peer-assess work
before they had been able to complete more than
a sentence or two

So let’s get it straight: OFSTED does NOT want to see mini plenaries as a matter of course !


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