NASUWT comments on Public Accounts Committee report into Ofsted

Responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on Ofsted, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers Union said:

“The NASUWT has always been clear that inspection has a critical role to play in a genuinely meaningful system of school accountability.

“Schools should be subject to inspection, but they should always be inspected on the right things in the right ways.

“To ensure that this fundamental test is met, it is critical that the inspectorate is given the resources and staff it needs to fulfil its functions effectively. However, the Government’s policy in this area over the past decade has been entirely wrong, based on slashing Ofsted’s budget without any reference whatsoever to the wide range of important responsibilities that it has to discharge.

“The inspection framework is due to be revised in the autumn of 2019. This presents a valuable opportunity to consider the fundamental objectives of inspection and adopt a new conception of inspection and accountability which recognises the full breadth of a school’s contribution to the lives of its pupils and which genuinely supports schools to continue to improve and succeed.

“However, for this process of revision to be meaningful, the Government must also give a commitment that it will make sufficient resources available to Ofsted so that its activities in future can be guided by the principles of effective inspection rather than by the limits of an inadequate budget. As the PAC has made clear in its report, this is vital to ensuring the inspectorate can retain the confidence of parents, the school workforce and the wider public.”