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NAHT says Ofsted’s discipline report is not evidence of a crisis in the classroom

Ofsted has published a behaviour report that claims an hour of teaching is lost every day due to pupils' poor behaviour.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT said: “Ofsted is contradicting itself. Reports from its routine inspections say behaviour is good or outstanding in 83 per cent of all schools. That's not yet perfect but it shows a massive improvement.

“The recent Policy Exchange report also noted that 79 per cent of parents at primary level, for example, were satisfied with school discipline. This is not evidence of a crisis. 

“What is the explanation for these contradictions? Firstly, Ofsted have changed the definition of behaviour. It would help if they had been clear about that and given the system time to clear the new hurdles. It is not 'failure' when you are asking more of people.

"We also feel that Ofsted are intentionally adding a note of fear and uncertainty across the education system, seeking to contradict the department's attempts to rebuild the shattered confidence of teachers and leaders. Ofsted is appearing to set education policy rather than inspect the implementation of policy - and the department should be wary of ceding such powers to unelected officials. 

“However, the comments from teachers can’t be ignored. Teachers have a right to expect the support and backing of their leaders when they seek to enforce policy. School leaders must work with all staff to ensure a school’s behaviour policy is upheld consistently in each classroom and throughout the school.

“Our members aim to support their staff and set high standards, recognising discipline is needed to create a positive climate for learning.

Mr Hobby added “This continued overreach adds to the evidence that Ofsted has reached the end of the line in its current incarnation, stifling innovation rather than encouraging it: its recent announcements on no notice inspection, for example, have paralysed the system and this report on behaviour appears to be another way for Ofsted to justify no notice inspections.

“There has to be a better way to hold schools to account.”

Ofsted's report is available here.

NAHT has been calling for ofsted reform for sometime, to aid our vision of a system owned by the profession itself. You can read more on this in our manifesto for education. Download it here.

Page Published: 25/09/2014

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Laura Raymond

NAHT Press officer

Tel: 01444 472483

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media

01444 472886