Commenting on the essay by Julian Astle, education director at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Julian Astle’s essay is another sign that our accountability system has lost the confidence of those who once supported it.
“Mr Astle re-iterates what those who work in schools know to be the case – that students’ learning is being damaged by a narrow and test-focused system, policed by an inspectorate which confuses test scores with the quality of education.
“But the solutions he proposes do not match the scale of the problem. It is right to call for a fundamental change in the functions and priorities of Ofsted. But the pressures on schools to do the wrong thing will continue until the design of our curriculum and the demands of our assessment system are also changed.”