Sorry for the S bomb in the title, but really, is that not what Ofsted are reported to have said in this article by the Teacher Support Network?
The statistics say that more teachers are being graded as satisfactory or inadequate, and less are outstanding, by very very large amounts.
Inadequate: 2010: 17,600, 2009: 8,800
Satisfactory 2010: 162,800 , 2009: 123,200
Outstanding: 2010: 35,200, 2009: 70,400
Total assessed: 440,000
I absolutely refuse to believe that 484000 teachers suddenly became worse within the space of a year. I also think it's highly suspicious that the number of inadequate teachers has doubled, exactly, in just a year. There are not this many people passing ITT, being accepted into teaching positions, succeeding for a few years and passing probationary periods, before becoming this bad.
But that's what's happening according to the stats. I honestly believe that Ofsted are looking to increase the number of inadequate teachers, and have their own targets and agenda in that respect. As with all assessment throughout teaching, they are able to see what they want in a lesson, and grade it as they want, because of the way the grading criteria work.
More worryingly, the suggested way to deal with this is to just get those inadequate teachers out of the profession completely. It's as if the only reason a teacher could possibly be bad is because they are not suited to teaching. How can that be when the stats drop so quickly and by such a large amount like that?
More likely there is something stopping perfectly adequate teachers from doing their job properly. It's poor working conditions, poor training and ridiculous workloads.