Opinion Former Article

NUT: New School Inspections Framework

Commenting on Ofsted’s new inspections framework, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said this:

“Yet again the bar has been raised by Ofsted without any clear justification and new unnecessary hoops for schools to jump through been put in place. Schools which currently are rated good may from January become only satisfactory, although there will have been no real change in their quality. Unsurprising many schools will feel this is unfair. It undermines their hard work as well as damages public perceptions of the school for no good reason.

“Increased emphasis on inspectors' professional judgement is a cause for deep concern. Whilst HMIs are widely respected they do not lead all teams. Heads and teachers know only too well that the quality of inspectors can vary widely.

“Parents are generally very supportive of their children’s schools. What is important for parents is that they have a voice in schools and that their views are taken seriously. It is not clear therefore why parents, who may have quite legitimate questions to which they seek answers, would choose to do so through the online parental website rather than speak directly to their child’s school. We support parental engagement in the inspection process but the online facility has too much potential for being used in a malicious fashion.

“Whilst the increased focus on teaching and learning is welcome, it is disappointing that Ofsted still believes that the quality of a lesson can be judged by observing it for ten minutes. This is unfair to both pupils and teachers and does not reflect the true quality of the lesson.

“Ofsted may claim that it has consulted widely on these new measures but it has not listened to the views of the profession. The purpose of a school evaluation system should be to enable schools to ‘know themselves’ honestly in order to develop the best possible environment for teaching and learning. The Ofsted inspection system creates precisely the opposite set of conditions”.

                                                                                                END pr130-2011
For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

Caroline Cowie
NUT Press Officer
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9BD
0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

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