Responding to the New Schools Network report on the accuracy of Ofsted judgements, Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT said: “We are not uncritical of Ofsted judgements, but the NSN claims are based on even flimsier analysis and a slanted view of the statistics. We are choosing here between a two day on-site visit by education experts or an ideologically driven scan of a spreadsheet of data.
"It is entirely possible that a student may not achieve a level four at the end of primary but still make exceptional levels of progress from their starting point. You have to look at progress and attainment together, not separately, to form a fair judgement. Nor is it right to claim that a child achieving below a level four necessarily lacks the 'basics'. They are still literate and numerate - we just want them to achieve even more.
"We agree that strong accountability is critical to the success of our school system. However, the claim that academies and free schools are more accountable than those in the maintained sector is inaccurate. New academies and free schools have just been granted a three year window free from inspection and are exempt from the measures applied to coasting schools in the Education and Adoption bill.
“Yet again we see the New Schools Network acting as a battering ram for the government’s policies. This time they are undermining the maintained sector to boost the Education and Adoption Bill’s provisions around academisation. The fact is academisation is a means to an end rather than an end in itself; the New Schools Network should recognise this, and adopt a less dogmatic approach.”
Page Published: 21/10/2015