ASCL comment on Ofsted’s response to Education Select Committee

Tom Middlehurst, Inspection Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments following Ofsted’s response to the Education Select Committee’s report on the inspectorate’s work with schools.
“Ofsted’s ‘Big Listen’ is an important step forward and we note their promise to address many of the select committee’s recommendations immediately after this exercise concludes. It’s vital that this results in the major reforms that the inspection system requires. Some of these changes, including scrapping single-phrase judgements, can only be enacted by government and therefore the Department for Education needs to be listening just as intently.
“We welcome Ofsted’s commitment to publishing training materials. This is something we have long been calling for and will help bring much-needed transparency to the inspection process, and end the cottage industry of second-guessing what Ofsted want.
“However, we do not feel that spending more money on Ofsted is the right priority and surely cannot be justified at a time when schools and colleges are in the depths of a funding crisis. Any additional funding for education must go to the frontline to put schools on a more sustainable footing. There are important reforms to the system, such as scrapping single-phrase judgements, that will make a huge difference without costing a penny.”