NASUWT comments on OFSTED’s key stage 3 report

Commenting on the report by Ofsted into Key Stage 3 provision, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“It is increasingly important to treat Ofsted’s assertions about the quality of educational provision across the school system with some caution.

“Many schools, especially those regarded as high performing, are now not subject to the type of inspections in which detailed consideration is given to the issues addressed in the report. It is therefore by no means clear that the findings of this investigation are genuinely representative of practice across all schools.

“However, notwithstanding these reservations, Ofsted’s report highlights key issues that reflect some of the NASUWT’s longstanding concerns.

“In particular, it is beyond dispute that the tendency in some schools to skew resources away from Key Stage 3 towards older pupils is the result of pressures generated by the current school accountability regime. Nevertheless, it is also clear from Ofsted’s report that some schools are better able to manage these pressures than others. It is critical that Ofsted explores the reasons for this variation in practice in more detail.

“The points made by Ofsted about the arrangements for transition between primary and secondary schools are also important. The NASUWT has continued to warn that the fragmentation of the education system since May 2010 has undermined partnership working between local families of schools.

“This has direct implications for ensuring effective transition of pupils between the primary and secondary sectors. If Ofsted is committed to examining these challenges it should investigate and report on the profoundly negative implications of Government policy in this respect.”