Laura Sharman 31 October 2014

Town hall chiefs call for urgent review of Ofsted

Town hall chiefs call for urgent review of Ofsted image

Council leaders are calling for an independent review of Ofsted, claiming its objectivity has been called into question lately.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says public confidence in the schools watchdog has been undermined after u-turns on inspection judgements. It cited five of the schools involved in the Trojan Horse incident that were downgraded to ‘inadequate’ after the scandal hit the headlines.

Cllr David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘Too many controversies have threated Ofsted’s independence and credibility. Mums and dads put their trust in Ofsted’s ratings when they pick a school for their children and its inspections can have implications for the most vulnerable children in our care.

‘Councils, communities and parents need to know Ofsted and the chief inspector are independent and free from political influence and we need an independent review to discover what has gone wrong and restore faith in what is fast becoming a media-driven organisation.’

The LGA accused Ofsted as having a ‘knee-jerk’ response to scandals rather than being ‘fair and impartial’.

A spokesperson for Ofsted said it had raised the inspection bar for both education and care services by making a 'good' rating the minimum acceptable standard. However, it did admit improvements could be made.

In a statement, it said: 'But we also know that when you challenge the system to do better, it will push back.

'Of course, Ofsted is not perfect and we have been open about where we need to improve our own performance. We are currently consulting on radical changes to the way we inspect schools and colleges from next September as well as taking steps to bring all education inspectors in-house.

'However, it’s worth bearing in mind that Ofsted conducts around 30,000 inspections every year. The latest figures show that 93% of schools and 95% of colleges were satisfied with the way their inspection was carried out – a proportion that hasn’t significantly altered over time. In a survey of 850 schools inspected earlier this year, almost 85% believed that the inspection process had helped them to improve.'

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

Social Worker - Permanence

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
To be successful in this role you will need great negotiation and influencing skills and ability to deal with conflict, hostility and vulnerability. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Head of Looked After Children, Permanence & Specialist Services

London Borough of Bexley
Up to £86,040 p.a
If this sounds exciting and reassuring, we want you to get in touch with us. Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Primary locations will include Clacton and Harlow only. Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part tim England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County 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