12 p.m. yesterday lunchtime and a fellow from Tribal rang informing us we would be inspected today. It’s been long enough coming and we have felt ready and prepared for this for about a term now. It is a relief to face it and engage with the process. The team have been great – kind, thoughtful, interested in what we had to say, and a model of what good inspecting should be. It has been collegiate, open, conversational and with plenty of opportunity for all to teach to their best and be honoured for it.
So, without giving anything away, it has been a focused and reasonably enjoyable day. It has shown me, once again, that you can be clear and penetrating as an inspector without having to bully anyone or undermine the efforts of a school or damage confidence at all. And for this, full credit to all three of the team, and to all our teachers who have taken them and accepted them at face value.
What has delighted me has been the confidence of teachers – so different from where we were a year ago. Last night many of us stayed to nigh on 8 p.m., and the sense of camaraderie, fellowship and heartfelt and earnest support for one another was a joy. Outcomes are outcomes, but fellowship is fellowship, and lasts longer. Whatever happens, we will be closer after this process than before it, and for that I am more than thankful. Parents and governors have been amazingly supportive – other schools have dropped off chocolate for us, and we feel different for it.
Tomorrow is another day. But we approach it in confidence, trust and mutual reliance.