NASUWT: The ‘shifting sands’ approach to inspection doesn’t help raise standards

Commenting on the launch today by Ofsted of its new school inspection framework, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said this:

“Serious questions must be raised about the rationale for changing the inspection framework again and at this time.

“These changes come only two years after the previous revision of the school inspection framework.

“There is no continuity for schools and neither parents nor the public are able to make judgements on progress on the basis of this ‘shifting sands’ approach to school inspection.

“The plans that schools judged outstanding will no longer be routinely inspected and that schools rated as inadequate or not improving will be required to become academies provide clear evidence that the Coalition Government is requiring Ofsted to implement a very punitive model of inspection, with inspection is being used as a stick to implement particular Coalition Government priorities.

“The ideologically driven nature of the revisions to the framework is further demonstrated by the removal from it of important criteria focused on promoting community cohesion and schools working in partnership to support pupils’ learning and wider wellbeing. Such changes reflect the arid and narrow agenda for education being pursued by the Coalition.

“It is clear that these changes have been driven more by political imperatives than by any genuine desire to put in place an inspection system which will help schools to raise standards and in which parents and the public can have confidence.”