On the day that the Guardian announces schools will be seen “as they really are”, as they have to endure no-notice Ofsted inspections, I stumble across this introduction to Parent View, a subsite of the Ofsted web (the bold is mine):
Parent View gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your child’s school.
Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child’s school, from the quality of teaching, to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour. We will use the information you provide when making decisions about which schools to inspect, and when.
By sharing your views, you’ll be helping your child’s school to improve. You will also be able to see what other parents have said about your child’s school. Or, if you want to, view the results for any school in England.
Interestingly, and quite by the by, it concludes by saying:
Please note that Parent View does not currently include independent schools.
Lucky them, then. But not unusual in a wider context. More of that anon.
Incidentally, I looked up my children’s school and at the time of writing this post there have been exactly zero responses.
The idea, however, is worth pursuing. But I do wonder why, in our fascination for achieving transparency, where we have it – that is to say, in social media and other online activity – we are critical of its presence; where we half-do – that is to say, in the public sphere – we can’t wait to use it to knock sensible discourse on the head; and where it refuses to exist – that is to say, in the private sector – we are letting our governments give companies (as well as “independent” schools) of all sizes the sorts of freedoms to hide stuff which we don’t allow our state education system; don’t want to allow our MPs and public sector environments; and now think totally preferable even where of late impossible to maintain when ordinary people take matters into their own tweeting hands.
So what is it really that we want of life and truth?
Why are we so disconcertingly uncertain about whose transparency we want and where we wish to apply it?
And when will we be able to order no-notice inspections of executive boardrooms, CEOs, financial services whizzkids … in addition to all the other supposedly “private” sector actors whose behaviours impact so fiercely – as well as so clearly – on the wealth and material living standards of a generally blameless public?
For surely if you want to make money out of hapless consumers, you ought to admit the existence of a wider constituency interested in whether you’ve done it on a level playing-field.
Unless, of course, that’s only good for teachers.
The rest of society having absolutely no obligation to anyone.
A View Of Top Executives anyone?
No. I didn’t think so.