Tom Middlehurst, Association of School and College Leaders’ inspection specialist, comments on new research from Beyond Ofsted, the inquiry into the future of school inspections, chaired by Lord Jim Knight.
“This research could hardly be more damning and shows that new Chief Inspector Sir Martyn Oliver has a mountain to climb in building trust in the inspection system when he starts his term of office in January.
“The key action needed is removal of the use of blunt, single-phrase judgements which are punitive and counterproductive; ensuring greater consistency among inspection teams – because at the moment schools and colleges feel inspections are a lottery – and establishing an independent review process which has the power to overturn judgements.
“The wider need is for schools and colleges to be adequately resourced. Otherwise, inspection outcomes are likely to be affected by funding and staff shortages which are a reflection of the failings of the government rather than the standards in operation at a school or college.”