#180 Surviving and thriving an Ofsted inspection with Ofsted’s Maths Subject Lead Steve Wren

Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAnchorPodbeanStitcherPocketCasts

Sponsor details

This episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast is kindly supported by AQA. You can find out more about their Questions Matter campaign here: aqa.org.uk/questions-matter

Episode details

Steve Wren is Ofsted’s Maths Subject Lead. Now, longtime listeners may remember I have interviewed another Maths Subject Lead, Jane Jones, in the past. She subsequently retired a few months after the podcast aired, which I hope was entirely coincidental, and that Steve has a long career ahead of him.

I have wanted to get Steve on for ages. I have heard him speak a few times, and I enjoy following his tweets – where he is Yorkshire_Steve. I appreciate how he speaks candidly and honestly about the key issues facing maths teachers and leaders, and that was certainly true in our conversations.

Useful time-stamps:

  1. Education career, controversies, and accents. (13:13)
  2. Maths education, policy, and personal interests. (15:31)
  3. Maths education and refereeing football. (20:56)
  4. Football refereeing and teaching career insights. (23:27)
  5. Lesson planning and the importance of cutting losses. (26:31)
  6. Ofsted inspections and their practicalities. (29:12)
  7. School inspection process and expectations. (35:33)
  8. School inspection and grading. (39:09)
  9. School inspection process and leadership. (42:40)
  10. Ofsted inspections and deep dives in a secondary school. (49:15)
  11. Maths curriculum and lesson observations. (51:13)
  12. Teaching maths in a school. (55:22)
  13. Ofsted inspections and lesson quality. (1:00:18)
  14. Ofsted inspections and consistency in teaching practices. (1:04:45)
  15. Using mini whiteboards in the classroom. (1:07:45)
  16. Using books to support deep dives in education. (1:11:37)
  17. Effective lesson observations and deep dives in education. (1:15:14)
  18. Inspector training and subject expertise in education. (1:18:27)
  19. Keeping bias out of inspections and tailoring approaches to individual schools. (1:21:55)
  20. Effective department meetings in schools. (1:26:44)
  21. Maths education report and its findings. (1:29:32)
  22. Maths education challenges and solutions. (1:34:23)
  23. Teaching methods and exam preparation in schools. (1:39:01)
  24. Secondary school teaching strategies and retention. (1:43:47)
  25. Primary and secondary school math education. (1:48:12)
  26. Problem-solving in math education. (1:52:30)
  27. Effective problem-solving strategies in math education. (1:56:35)
  28. Maths education balance and practice. (2:00:12)
  29. Problem-solving in math education. (2:04:43)
  30. Using departmental meetings to support math problem-solving skills. (2:07:06)
  31. Curriculum design and problem-solving strategies. (2:11:02)
  32. Problem-solving strategies in math education. (2:16:07)
  33. Sharing high-quality educational resources and Ofsted’s research review. (2:18:51)
  34. Maths education and the importance of balancing different perspectives. (2:23:56)
  35. Ofsted’s stance on marking and feedback. (2:28:39)
  36. Effective math teaching methods and workload management. (2:32:53)
  37. Using centrally planned resources in maths lessons. (2:36:26)
  38. Maths education during COVID-19 pandemic. (2:40:29)
  39. Maths education, homework, and curriculum. (2:45:51)
  40. Ofsted inspections and curriculum development. (2:49:35)
  41. The future of math teaching and the importance of skilled teachers. (2:53:04)
  42. Educational blogs and podcasts for personal growth. (2:57:30)

About the guest

On Twitter, Steve is @Yorkshire_Steve
You can read the 2023 Maths subject report: Coordinating Mathematical Success here
You can read the 2021 Maths research review here

Steve’s Big 3

  1. FFT Education Datalab
  2. Mark McCourt’s blog
  3. Ofsted Talks podcast

My usual plugs:

Leave a Reply