Ofsted: working with NEU super-union ‘impossible’

The joint leader of the NEU is writing to the chief inspector after a senior Ofsted official said working together with the union to improve things was “impossible” because it calls for the inspectorate to be abolished. Tes reports.

The Twitter spat between Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, and Sean Harford, the inspectorate’s national director, education, followed a Tes article in which Dr Bousted said chief inspector Amanda Spielman was “not a safe pair of hands”.

Following a tweet from a former headteacher, Colin Cattanach, which said “all unions and Ofsted should be working with schools for a common good”, Mr Harford replied: “I would agree about working together; the problem is, the NEU has continually called and still calls for the abolition of Ofsted, which makes working together to improve things impossible.”

In response, Dr Bousted wrote: “The NEU does call for Ofsted’s abolition. Ofsted claimed it could judge teacher quality in 20 minute lesson observations; promoted triple marking; had to purge 1,200 inspectors because they were not good enough; spearheaded the drive for data which takes up aeons of teacher time.”

To which Mr Harford said: “And the first sentence right there Mary sets out why it’s impossible, under your leadership, to try to work with your union to improve things for all in education. Which leaves a lot of teachers as your members without a credible voice at the table.”

Read Amanda Spielman’s response Ofsted: working with NEU super-union ‘impossible’

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

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