This is Westgate Beach a short hop from my house.
But I haven't been on holidays, it was a self enforced break to concentrate a little more on my job. What? Your occupation, surely not! I hear you cry.
As a teacher we are often checked on our performance, through a lovely group of individuals called OFSTED. These are past heads, teachers and members of the community who visit the school, observe lessons, read policies, check the paperwork, look at children's books, talk to teachers, children, parents basically leaving no turn unstoned. The experience is a little stressful but is ultimately meant to improve the school. This is not the reality and a visit from OFSTED has lead to a few school closures, early retirement of heads and negative feelings towards the whole affair. A school should be visited every 3 to 4 years. We have known for a while that we were due an inspection. I actually teach in a pretty good school but as our head beautifully put it,
"Your house may be very tidy, but when relatives come to visit
you make sure the skirting boards are dusted and the pictures are straight."
I have taught for over 20 years and this is my 6th OFSTED inspection. My first inspection, in 1994, the school I was at was given 3 months notice and the inspection lasted 5 days. The process has changed since then and for the current inspection, the school was given 2 days notice and the inspection lasted 2 days. I am responsible for special needs in my school and was given a 1 hour grilling by the lead inspector, whose job title is very impressive, he is called Her Majestys Inspector, HMI for short.
So the upshot of all this is a spent time dusting the skirting boards and making sure the pictures straight and not writing about baseball.
Its good to be back.