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Great schools on the rise but action needed over rogue inspectors
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NAHT draws attention to rising numbers of great schools but urge swifter action over rogue inspectors

Inspector writing in a book
NAHT says it is encouraged to see the hard work of teachers acknowledged in Ofsted's latest report, which shows a rising number of good and outstanding schools.

However, the NAHT encourages Ofsted to focus on quality assurance so that every school has a rigorous, professional and fair inspection. The association remains concerned that there are still significant inconsistencies between inspection teams that need to be addressed.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: "The figures from the schools' inspectorate, Ofsted, show that even in the face of more demanding expectations, the proportion of good and outstanding schools is increasing steadily over the long term. There are surely few walks of life where excellence so dramatically outnumbers failure.

"Every year we ask more of our schools and the people who work in them, and each year they rise to the challenge. Recognition of this by Ofsted is important: everyone understands that Ofsted has a duty to point out problems, but a balance between criticism and celebration is far more likely to build the confidence and conviction to go further. 

"We ask that Ofsted continues to concentrate on eliminating the inconsistencies between inspection teams. Some are excellent but there are still a number of rogue elements which need to be identified and addressed. Too often, the experience of inspection is subjective and demoralising. We also look for a stronger connection to school improvement."

Mr Hobby also questioned the use of league tables to judge local authorities based on how schools perform. He said: “The performance of local authorities is variable and the performance of schools within local authorities also varies, so blanket condemnation is inappropriate - especially as schools in general are doing better. Where an authority is struggling, this should be a trigger for improving the authority, not for mass ‘academisation’ of primary schools, which lacks any evidence for efficacy and weakens the links between schools.”



Page Published: 27/11/2012