NUT News - OFSTED Special
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Ofsted’s decision to ‘raise the bar’ in its new Inspection Framework, introduced in September, is causing anger and fear among teachers. The NUT has received a number of reports that inspectors are using trivial issues to downgrade schools.
NUT General Secretary Christine Blower has written to both Christine Gilbert, the Chief Inspector, and Ed Balls expressing her extreme concern about this situation.
The new framework contains ‘limiting judgments’ on pupil attainment, safeguarding, and equality of achievement, which means that if schools receive a low judgment in one of these areas the overall judgment cannot be better. An arbitrary limiting judgment based on a trivial issue, therefore, can lead to a school being deemed to have failed.
Examples the Union has received include:
- schools being marked down for failing to record centrally employed staff on the single central register;
- the Lead Inspector, on entering a school on the first day, marking down the school because the head has not immediately asked for their Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check;
- inspectors paying little attention to Contextual Value Added (CVA) data and just concentrating on raw results; and
- a first school being marked down because of the low height of its perimeter fence.
The NUT is determined that this situation should not continue. It urges all members who have experienced unfair inspections to e-mail their experiences to email@example.com. All examples will be anonymised, unless you indicate otherwise.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:
“For nearly two decades teachers have had to endure an essentially punitive inspection system. The new Inspection Framework has made the life of schools even worse. The NUT is determined to change school inspection into a system which supports not punishes schools. Our campaign can achieve this change. I urge every member to send their experiences of inspection into the Union so that we can change the minds of Government and Ofsted.”