Scrap Ofsted now!

Posted in ClassroomSolidarity's blog on Mon, 31/07/2006 - 20:21,

I have now endured fourteen inspections of varying kinds - HMI, monitoring visits, Ofsted etc etc etc.
You would think with such experience that I would be aware of what an inspection involves.
But it would be fair to say that my fourteen inspections have taught me to expect nothing of certainty - so much depends on who actually arrives at the school gates. Yes you can know the system and procedures but what the inspectors are going to have a particular “bee in their bonnet” about is the luck of the draw.
The new inspection framework which was implemented from September 2005 is supposed to be a shorter more focused inspection - some even suggested they would be more teacher-friendly. Reports from schools in our area show they are nothing of the sort with an increasing number of schools being issued with a notice to improve or labelled with special measures.
The reports are shorter but make it harder to challenge as judgements of inspectors as we know are unquestionable.
The NUT has a policy of opposition to Ofsted - we have done for years, but I don’t remember anything being done to bring about the action points from numerous conference policies on this issue.
Ofsted is the stick used to beat us - it is used to ensure that we conform to the government’s agenda.
If a school is not following government policies then Ofsted are used to criticise and enforce - we are told that numerous strategies are not compulsory but wait for the arrival of Ofsted. If they find you are not implementing them and your SATs or exam results are not high then its curtains for your school.
I have yet to find a teacher who speaks positively about Ofsted - yes the new inspections are shorter but many schools in our area are on constant Ofsted alert. Staff being put under pressure just in case Ofsted arrive.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe the membership really don’t want a campaign against Ofsted, maybe it is just my distorted view following numerous inspections but shouldn’t we let the membership choose.
With a real campaign coordinated nationally against Ofsted I am sure the members would be with us.
Imagine how much better you would feel going to work every day knowing that Ofsted is NOT just around the corner.

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