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NAHT calls for separate Ofsted judgements on governance and curriculum

Ofsted’s Better inspection for all consultation closes on Friday 5 December. School leaders’ union NAHT has provided a comprehensive response.

Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary said: “Ofsted’s consultation is welcome; the majority of the proposals are sensible. But they do not go far enough in correcting the troubled relationship between the profession and its inspectorate.”

While welcoming the basic principle of 'short form' inspection, NAHT has called for Ofsted to:

  • separate the judgement of governance from professional leadership;
  • apply the same short form of inspection to outstanding schools as well as good;
  • ensure schools are always inspected by a specialist in their phase and sector, and;
  • apply a separate, graded judgement for the overall breadth and balance of the curriculum.

Mr Hobby added: “There is one clear area of change that NAHT would like to see. Under the proposals, as now, school leadership and school governance are graded together but they are two very distinct roles. Problems can occur in schools where there is insufficient clarity between the two, which is why we believe it’s time for separate judgements. Parents and the public have the right to know whether their representatives are fulfilling their responsibilities as governors. School leaders deserve to have their role identified and recognised as a different type of responsibility with different challenges to meet.”

“NAHT also suggests that a separate grade should be issued for the quality of the school curriculum. It is vital that every child has access to a broad and balanced curriculum, a separate judgement will reinforce that entitlement.

“We would also like to see a guarantee that the lead inspector is always a specialist from the sector and phase that they are inspecting. It is vital that they have practical and successful experience of working within the sector they are inspecting.

"The current proposals help correct some of the problems with inspection, but we will need to go further after the general election to turn inspection into a genuinely constructive force."

Other suggestions from NAHT include greater use of evidence from peer review and the establishment of an independent complaints body.

NAHT’s full submission to the Ofsted consultation available below.

You can see the NAHT’s manifesto for education here: http://bit.ly/1BLx3cZ.

Page Published: 04/12/2014