The BBC is reporting that local government leaders have said Ofsted is in urgent need of independent review in light of concerns about its objectivity and reliability…
A series of leaks and U-turns have thrown the independence of England’s education watchdog into question, said the Local Government Association.
A review would “restore faith”, Cllr David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said.
Ofsted said doubts about its reliability were “simply incorrect”.
But the LGA said cases such as Ofsted’s re-inspection and downgrading of five of the “Trojan Horse” schools in Birmingham have undermined the watchdog’s credibility.
It said these inspections, after the schools hit the headlines, downgraded them from “good” or “outstanding” to “inadequate”, in some cases in less than a year.
“Which verdict is to be believed?” asked Cllr Simmonds.
The LGA also cast doubt on the downgrading of Haringey Council’s children’s services “from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ once the Baby P scandal broke in the media”.
It said these cases “raise questions as to the validity of the inspectorate’s judgements as it is quick to re-inspect and often downgrade schools which are embroiled in a scandal, even if it is an historic report”.
Cllr Simmonds said Ofsted had been the subject of “too many controversies”…
“Ofsted’s knee-jerk response to a scandal seems to be to re-inspect school and declare it failing, but not every scandal will be true.
“We want to know that when Ofsted go into a school, they are being fair and impartial and are not playing to the court of public opinion.”
The call for a review has drawn support from some teachers’ unions…
An Ofsted spokeswoman responded that it was the watchdog’s job “to hold every institution to account and to report without fear or favour…
Valid concerns from the LGA or trying to settle a few scores? Please tell us how you see and the likely significance of this call for a review it in the comments or via Twitter…
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