Should we scrap Ofsted?


‘Dr Melanie Ehren, reader in educational accountability and improvement, UCL Institute of Education

Scrapping Ofsted would leave us with a system that is fragmented in the information available about school quality, placing an even larger emphasis on external examinations and performance league tables. Other countries that have such test-based accountability, such as the US, have seen an over-reliance on data and tests, extensive teaching to test, narrow curricula focused on tested subjects and root-based learning.

School inspection, on the other hand, informs us about the quality of schools on a range of indicators so we can compare, track and contrast their performance over time. Alternative systems of quality assurance, such as school self-evaluation or peer review, would not provide that national and comparative overview.’


‘John MacBeath, professor emeritus, faculty of education, the University of Cambridge

‘As professionals, teachers have a pretty good idea of what makes a good classroom and what makes good learning. Unfortunately with Ofsted, teachers are too often disenfranchised because the things that are important to them aren’t included in the inspection criteria. Ofsted focuses primarily on maths and English, and what is most easily measurable. They marginalise other creative aspects of school life, such as art, drama, sport or a range of student-led initiatives.

While there are many outstanding Ofsted inspectors, they are hamstrung in terms of what and how they have to inspect, living with the legacy of a process and protocols which are widely seen by teachers as neither fair nor effective.’ - Guardian


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