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National Association of Head Teachers’ comment on ‘remarkable’ school inspection results

School leaders’ union NAHT said it was pleased to see, yet again, an overall improvement in the percentage of schools that have been judged to be good or better at their most recent inspection.

Today’s latest Ofsted figures on maintained schools inspection outcomes from July to December 2013 show that 79 per cent of England’s schools are now rated good or outstanding.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT said: “The fact that so many of our schools are doing well in their inspections is remarkable given the many burdens being placed on them by so much change. There are few sectors where you would see such a high proportion of excellence. 

“We are pleased to see that the gap between those schools in the ‘strongest’ and ‘weakest’ regions actually remains quite tight, despite large differences in funding and support. 

 "Ofsted is right to question whether the current system of inspection is fit for purpose. We have so many good schools and yet innovation is stifled by the constant fear of inspection and the uncertainty over the quality of teams.

 “Weak teams rely too heavily on crude attainment data, so it’s no surprise that in 99 per cent of inspections the judgment on overall effectiveness is the same as the judgment on pupil achievement.  If inspection is to add value it must look beyond the data and explain what could be different. Too few inspectors possess the skill or time to do this.

 “We suggest a scaling back of the current pervasive regime to focus on high risk schools, with an accredited and moderated system of peer review filling the gap - like that being piloted now by NAHT in the Midlands."

Page Published: 13/03/2014

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