Artificial intelligence school inspections face resistance

The BBC reports that plans to use algorithms to identify failing schools have been criticised by the National Association of Head Teachers.

A data science unit, part-owned by the UK government, has been training algorithms to rate schools, using machine learning – a form of AI. It plans to work with England education watchdog Ofsted to help prioritise inspections.

The NAHT said effective inspection of schools should not be based on data.

“We need to move away from a data-led approach to school inspection,” the union said in a statement. “It is important that the whole process is transparent and that schools can understand and learn from any assessment.”

Social purpose company Behavioural Insights Team, part-owned by innovation charity Nesta, has laid out how the artificial intellgence system would work in a report

Lead author Michael Sanders told the BBC: “If it was put in the field, it would be used to prioritise which schools should be inspected, and we are hoping to work with Ofsted over the next 12 months to improve the algorithm and tailor it to suit that purpose.”

The data produced by the algorithm will not be shared with schools and Mr Sanders said it would not be helpful to do so.

Read more Artificial intelligence school inspections face resistance

What do you think about training algorithms to rate schools? Man or machine? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. “The data produced by the algorithm will not be shared with schools and Mr Sanders said it would not be helpful to do so”

    So, kinda like astrology but with less credibility.

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