From education to employment
Hodders T Levels headline banner ad

ATL: Ofsted judgements ‘not worth the paper they are written on’

Ofsted judgements are “not worth the paper they are written on” because of poor quality inspections, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) trade union.

ATL general secretary Mary Bousted said that, although schools and colleges should be held accountable, the reviews are inconsistent because inspectors lack relevant experience.

The comments come ahead of the Education Select Committee quizzing Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, about the body’s performance.

“Inspections need to be fair and all state-funded schools, including academies and frees schools, should be held to account in the same way,” said Bousted.

“As well as inspecting the education functions of local authorities, Ofsted should also be inspecting the headquarters of academy chains. A year ago Sir Michael told the select committee he wanted to do this, but it seems [Education Secretary] Michael Gove still thinks those chains are beyond reproach.

“However, ATL believes there is a better way to check all young people have a good education and that school and college funding is not misused. We would like the national inspection regime to be replaced with local inspections and help for schools and colleges to improve. These would be coordinated by local authorities with the involvement of current classroom teachers.

“We believe this would work better because local inspectors would better understand their local schools, improvement plans would be relevant and effectively supported, and so judgments would be respected. Ofsted would still have a role to play to oversee inspections as a check to provide confidence that schools are properly accountable in these new, local structures.”

Natalie Thornhill

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in FE News archive

Related Articles

City & Guilds Associate Vacancies available - FE News