William Eichler 22 September 2017

Ofsted inspection reforms could create ‘uncertainty’, head teachers warn

Ofsted inspection reforms could create ‘uncertainty’, head teachers warn  image

A teachers union has lashed out at Ofsted’s proposals to change the short inspection process, saying it will create a ‘cloud of uncertainty’ in schools.

The schools inspection service yesterday launched a consultation on proposals to change the way short inspections convert a school’s rating.

Under the new proposals, if inspectors are not confident a school is still ‘Good’ but the standard of education remains acceptable and there are no safeguarding issues, they will not convert.

Instead, Ofsted will publish a letter setting out the school’s strengths and areas for improvement and a section 5 inspection will take place one to two years later.

This will provide schools with a window of opportunity to address weaknesses and it will give Ofsted Inspectors (OIs), who are usually busy school leaders, more certainty as to their timetables.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has, however, criticised the proposals.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools in England, said the proposed arrangements would create ‘uncertainty’ for parents, staff and governors.

‘For the most part, parents, staff and governors understand the current four ratings (Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate),’ he said.

‘If, after a one day visit, inspectors are not able to determine that a school is still ‘Good’, they will now mark it out for re-inspection. This could be up to three years later - an unacceptably long delay.

‘A cloud of uncertainty will linger over the school until Ofsted can arrange a return.

‘Until the inspectors return all the school community will be left with is a letter which outlines the misgivings of inspectors but only gives a vague “not sure” or “good-ish” verdict.

‘Parents may well wonder what is the point of inspection if it doesn't tell them how effective their child's school is and leaves behind more questions than answers.’

‘The uncertainty about the quality of education provided could become the single biggest barrier to improvement that the school in question will face,’ he added.

It’s party time image

It’s party time

Paul Marinko tries to help the sector navigate the web of policy commitments for local government on offer after 12 December.
Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Executive

South Kesteven District Council
Up to £127k
South Kesteven is a district with plenty going for it. Grantham, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: South Kesteven District Council

ASC Occupational Therapist - Early Intervention Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
We are looking to recruit 2 Occupational Therapists to work within Clacton or Colchester. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dy England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Youth Support Worker DofE

Essex County Council
£995 - £1049 per annum
Our Youth Support Workers work with young people completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award, supporting them to complete all sections, including their expeditions. England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Team Leader

Essex County Council
£19260 - £21682 per annum
We are currently seeking a Youth Work Team Leader to supervise the development of the Duke of Edinburgh program and delivery of youth work projects, as well as work directly with young people in informal settings and maintain professional and purposeful r England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine