Austin Macauley 08 April 2015

‘Toxic’ Ofsted must be scrapped, say teachers

‘Toxic’ Ofsted must be scrapped, say teachers image

The largest teachers’ union is calling for an end to the ‘toxic influence of Ofsted’ and has pledged to work with the new Government on a successor body.

Members voted in favour of a motion calling for the watchdog to be axed at the National Union of Teachers’ annual conference.

The NUT said Ofsted has lost the support of profession, citing a recent YouGov poll that found just 15% of teachers believed its inspections made a positive contribution to school improvement.

It also found only 9% thought they were independent and free from political interference.

General secretary Christine Blower said the ‘punitive inspection system’ had teachers ‘reeling with a mixture of fear and despondence’.

Many would rather leave the profession than face another Ofsted inspection, she said, highlighting an NUT/YouGov survey which found 90% of teachers had considered leaving teaching in the last two years.

She added: ‘We are already seeing a teacher recruitment crisis as a result of Government education policies. Teachers deserve and need manageable, relevant workloads and they deserve and need pay and pensions that reflect their work and contribution to society. Unless things change, yet more teachers will leave and fewer graduates will give the profession any consideration as a career choice.

‘The NUT will be seeking to enter into new negotiations with whoever forms the next Government in order to address these issues. Teachers deserve better and will demand better.’

An Ofsted spokesperson said: 'As we have previously said, it is important that schools maintain a sense of proportion when preparing for an Ofsted inspection.

'We have been clear that schools should focus on outcomes for pupils and whether they are receiving a good standard of education, rather than what they should be doing in order to satisfy Ofsted. Our clarification for schools document sets out what we do and do not expect.'

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