This Be The Challenge

One of the implements I suggest for the “toolkit of techniques to bring effective challenge” is the use of follow up questions (FUQ) – that is to say, not just asking a simple question and listening to the response, but delving into the issue with as many additional questions as are necessary to establish a satisfactory understanding, and, critically, then agreeing on actions by named people or committees to follow up what has been discussed.


They follow up, your governors could.
They mean to challenge, and they do.
They ask key questions (as they should)
But do they really follow through?

Our minutes show what governors ask,
But do the answers carry weight?
And are we guided in this task
By thinking of what Ofsted state?

Inspectors praise the questions posed –
Responding to the head’s report –
And in this way we are supposed
To show that challenge can be brought.

Are questions valued by amount
Or by the truth that they reveal?
To hold the school to true account
We need to delve with proper steel.

How often do we follow through
On answers given off the cuff?
We need to stringently pursue (update: “We need unwaveringly to pursue)
The focus on important stuff.

“What impact has this measure had
On how the pupils here achieve?”
“What is the evidence for that?”
The “So What?” and the “We Believe”.


Inspired by “This Be The Verse”

By Philip Larkin

They f☆☆☆ you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.


But they were f☆☆☆☆d up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another’s throats.


Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don’t have any kids yourself.



This entry was posted in Larkin and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s