Church education chief: Terror bill is ‘step too far’ for Ofsted

The BBC is reporting that the chief Church of England education officer has said that plans that require schools to help prevent pupils becoming radicalised place too much of a burden on education regulator Ofsted…

The Rev Nigel Genders said asking Ofsted to become a “schoolroom security service” was “a step too far”.

He said the regulator would be acting out a remit it was never designed for.

The anti-radicalisation measures for schools were set out in the counter-terrorism bill on Wednesday.

Home Secretary Theresa May’s new bill also stated that universities and councils should play their part in averting people from extremist thoughts and beliefs.

But in his blog published on the Church of England’s website Mr Genders wrote: ” In order to ensure that all schools are giving young people a good start in life, Ofsted should focus on the breadth and quality of education provision.

“Whilst Ofsted works out how it measures “British Values” and schools wonder how they might be downgraded for failing to promote them, asking Ofsted to become the schoolroom security service is a step too far.

“As a country we have access to both counter-terrorism experts and educational professionals. Suggesting these groups swap roles in an attempt to build a safer society needs more thought.”

Allowing Ofsted to “police” new statutory duties about what it deems as extremism will dramatically change the role of the regulator, and risk turning it into a “blunt instrument whose reports risk undermining all the fantastic work a school is doing to educationally transform its community”, he added.

“For many schools there are serious and far reaching questions that need to be asked in relation to the role of Ofsted in “policing” and enforcing the new statutory duties proposed under the bill.”

The bill was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday and is due for a second reading by MPs in December…

More at: Church education chief: Terror bill is ‘step too far’ for Ofsted

 

Is the Rev Genders making a valid point here: is this terror bill setting Ofsted up for a role as a “schoolroom security service” that is a step too far? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Categories: Policy.

Comments

  1. Janet2

    Insisting schools engage with the Prevent strategy could undermine trust between pupils and teachers if the latter are viewed as spies.  That’s not to say schools shouldn’t engage with it sensitively in line with local policies if they think the strategies put forward have a place.  However, there should be no enforcement.

  2. Janet2

    Insisting schools engage with the Prevent strategy could undermine trust between pupils and teachers if the latter are viewed as spies.  That’s not to say schools shouldn’t engage with it sensitively in line with local policies if they think the strategies put forward have a place.  However, there should be no enforcement.

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