On your marks … get set … Ofsted we go!


Right, I think I’m ready. Oh, wait – we forgot those last presents on top of the wardrobe. So, who wants to go out and get some  more wrapping paper? And could you just go and queue up at the butcher’s for the turkey while you’re in town? And we need some of that gunky stuff in a bottle – the sink’s blocked again. I think it was the practice run bread sauce that did it. Is there enough gin, do you think? At least the decorations are up. Hang on, nobody got any holly. Are you going to find the string and get a few cards up? No? Why not? Anyone would think you’d been busy. Why are you waving that meat cleaver at me?


So, it’s nearly here, and soon it’ll be that blissful moment when you realise that if you haven’t bought it now, it really doesn’t matter. Preparing for the festive frolics is usually fun with children around but the last weeks at work have been a tad stressful – we’re a Catholic school so we do a lot of lovely advent things, but we also have the huge black cloud of Ofsted hanging over us (long overdue and dreaded) so my writing has had to go firmly on the back burner and I’ve been making nice tidy folders at the same time as all the sticking and glueing. The Christmas cake didn’t happen  – which is a minor disaster (we’re having an emergency quick-fire boiled fruit cake recipe that can be made today) – but the mince pies are done, even if most of them have already mysteriously disappeared.

Anyway, here’s my ode to inspectors everywhere; I hope you like it, whether you’ve experienced the joys of audits, whether you perform them yourself or whether they’re just an ugly rumour to you. I’m off to read a book. Happy Christmas from me and from all the other Romaniacs too!

Celia xx


Twas the week before Christmas

When all through the place

Rang a howling and keening

And fear touched each face.

They’re coming! They’re coming!

Came the cry from each side.

They’ll find us, they’ll catch us –

There’s nowhere to hide.

They’ll peer into corners

And look in each box

We’re not going to like it,

We’re in for some shocks.

But the boss was quite calming

She smiled at us all

Decided to give us

A rip-rousing call.

Come teachers, brave teachers –

Did you hear what I said?

Because we’re not afraid

Of the wrath of Ofsted.

And even if some staff

are trotting away,

We don’t need to worry –

We’ll just have to pray!

We’ll shine up the classrooms

And make them all neat.

In the staffroom we’ll tidy

Each biscuit and sweet.

We’ll train all our pupils

To talk till they drop

Enthuse about targets

Till they beg them to stop.

The kitchen is gleaming

The governors are ready …

Just excuse me while I go

And cuddle my teddy.

But soon we all rallied

And scuttled about.

‘Let’s not be downhearted’

I heard them all shout.

So we’ll get ourselves poised

And break out the sherry,

Forget work for now

And let Christmas be merry!

8 thoughts on “On your marks … get set … Ofsted we go!

  1. Argh. Ofsted. Closely related to Scrooge and Dracula, Prince of Darkness. I survived three inspections before I retired and I can’t say that they helped to raise standards. That can only be achieved by strong leadership, motivated staff, supportive parents and realistic expectations. Good luck for when they descend. Meanwhile, have a great Christmas to you and yours (and the other Romaniacs). I hope you can all sneak away and get a bit of writing done. I’ll be coming to inspect sometimes over the festive period . . . Ho, ho, ho.

  2. Oh Celia that made me smile. I’m just about to join a Catholic primary school … poor things got the Ofsted call in the penultimate week of term … how mean is that? I’m grateful I’ve just missed it as I’ve been through two of the dratted things. Have a lovely Christmas and many book sales in 2014.

    • Thanks Jules – you too! My lovely friend Kay who works in a school where most children areeither in a wheelchair, poorly or both had Ofsted last week! They’re all heart!

  3. Absolutely Brilliant!?!……been there SEVERAL times…..wishing yourself and your family a sparkling and memorable Christmas. X

  4. I feel for you! We once had Ofsted in the last week of the Christmas term. We thought it was daft joke – it wasn’t. I remember sitting in the staff room singing with a few members of staff – all just as hysterical as me – We wish it could be Ofsted every day ha!

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