Ofsted recognise the need for change, but not the scale of change which is needed to restore the confidence of the profession in an inspection system that must be effective and fair.
Commenting on the revision to school inspections announced by Ofsted, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said;
‘This announcement signals that Ofsted recognise the need for change. Unfortunately, Ofsted fails to comprehend the scale of change which is needed to restore the confidence of the profession in its judgements on school quality.
‘The revisions on safeguarding are a step in the right direction and reflect the need for a practical and common-sense approach where schools can quickly rectify any safeguarding gaps identified.
‘We agree that there must be a more responsive, transparent complaints system in place. Leaders will have informed and valuable opinions on improving Ofsted’s complaints procedure. They must be listened to, and their concerns acted upon.
‘The further investment in the wellbeing of leaders through Education Support is necessary and long overdue.
‘However, more extensive, and fundamental changes are needed to limit the damage done by Ofsted to leader and teacher well-being.
‘This package of measures announced today do not go nearly far enough to address the deep concerns of teachers and leaders about the surveillance model of school inspection in England. We need a reliable system, built on fairness and support not surveillance and jumping through hoops. As Gillian Keegan says, it is right that Ofsted continues to evolve but it needs to evolve much further, given the new figures out this week about how many leaders are leaving before retirement age.
‘These changes don’t address the high stakes pressures that are tied up with a one grade summative judgement and that drive unsustainable pressure and a data- heavy surveillance culture. Better policy is needed which delivers an inspection system that is effective and fair and in which teachers and leaders’ contributions are properly valued”.