Five problems with Ofsted

This week the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) will announce the findings of its Accountability Commission into what it describes as a high-stakes low-trust culture facing English schools. Tes can reveal that the commission concludes that a system of Ofsted inspections and government tables and targets is doing more harm than good.

Here are five key findings that the expert panel has made about Ofsted.

1. Ofsted cannot deliver reliable judgements about schools.

The most damning finding in the report is that the current inspection model does not allow Ofsted to make reliable judgements about schools.

The commission concludes that the inspectorate’s reports are giving parents a false assurance about the effectiveness of the schools they inspect.

2. Inspections create needless extra work.

School leaders warn that the importance of securing a good inspection outcome and the fear of not being “Ofsted-ready” drives considerable activity in too many schools that could be better spent focused on improving teaching and learning.

It says the ability to show near real-time information on the progress of every pupil in a school, alongside predictions of future performance, has been interpreted as evidence of “leadership grip” by some inspectors.

4. Compliance to Ofsted creates a tick box culture

The commission says that a “tick-box” culture has taken hold in many schools, where compliance with what Ofsted is perceived to want has become the overwhelming driver of improvement activity.

Read more from the panel Five problems with Ofsted

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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