Ofsted is deluded if it thinks it is a force for school improvement

A recent statement tweeted by Ofsted said it existed to be a ‘force for improvement’. It is, of course, deluded. One primary headteacher explains why in Teachwire.

The wording itself is not the friendliest either: ‘a force’? Maybe Amanda Spielman is a fan of Star Wars, but the Force certainly isn’t with Ofsted.

Strong leaders improve schools – strong leaders made accountable by an effective governing body or academy trust. It is quite worrying that Ofsted genuinely thinks it improves schools.

Ofsted has a framework and judges schools against this framework. That’s all. It’s not the judge and, in most cases, jury, during inspections. It is a regulatory body, not a force for improvement.

Schools that have historically failed don’t improve because Ofsted writes a report. If only it was that simple. These schools have improved because strong leaders ensured that they did.

When Ofsted revisits and finds the school is still failing, producing another report only puts this in writing. It doesn’t increase the likelihood it will improve. No instruction manual is left, and setting targets alone is meaningless.

How many Ofsted inspectors have actually improved their own school? I would like to see any research Ofsted has carried out showing the percentage of current inspectors that have moved their school on at least one Ofsted category, but I am guessing such research doesn’t exist.

Additionally, how many inspectors have taken schools out of special measures or, under their leadership, managed to achieve ‘outstanding’ status?

Ofsted seems lost. It is not a force for improvement and, I would go as far as to say, it is no longer fit for purpose. A major and radical reform needs to happen.

Read the full article Ofsted is deluded if it thinks it is a force for school improvement

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

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