Ofsted Chief outlines changes to education inspection framework

Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union, has commented on the Chief Inspector of Ofsted’s admission that focus on data has been a major factor in schools becoming exam factories.

“The National Education Union welcomes the Chief Inspector’s admission that Ofsted’s focus on data has been a major factor in schools becoming exam factories. The effects of this are clear for all to see: the exodus of teachers from the profession and the rising rates of children and adolescent mental ill health because of the constant pressure of testing."

“It is clear that Ofsted’s focus on data has achieved the opposite of what the agency intended. Rather than raising school standards, Ofsted has caused them to decline. Teachers see the harm that data driven targets are doing to their pupils and to themselves as education professionals. No education system can exceed the quality of its teachers, and our schools are being starved of that vital resource because the constant pressure on data driven targets, promoted by Ofsted, is taking the joy out of teaching and learning."  

“Whilst a change in focus is welcome, the National Education Union remains acutely concerned about the ability of Ofsted to deliver this change. We will await further detail as to how Ofsted will find the time to inspect a school’s curriculum in a one or two day visit to a school. We question how inspectors can make a fair judgement on the curriculum in this timescale and with the very variable quality of Ofsted inspectors."

“The National Education Union continues to believe that Ofsted is an agency which is so discredited that it cannot achieve this U-turn in its inspection practice. Other high performing countries operate very different school inspection and accountability systems. We should learn from the best international practice and create a new inspection system which holds schools to account, whilst supporting and developing teachers and school leaders.”

ENDS

2018-110-NEU

Press release
11 October 2018