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Rethinking school inspection: NAHT’s latest report shows why Ofsted’s current inspection model is 'unfit for purpose' and calls for urgent systemic reform

Findings from NAHT’s latest member survey into school inspection in England highlight the crisis within the current inspection system. The Rethinking School Inspection: Delivering fair, proportionate and humane school accountability report shows how Ofsted’s current inspection model is not just having a hugely detrimental effect on school leaders and their staff, it is also failing pupils and parents.

NAHT argues that the appointment of a new chief inspector for schools is not just timely, it also represents a moment of significant opportunity – an opportunity to stop and think about how we want school inspection to operate in this country and the perfect opportunity to create a fair, proportionate and humane system of inspection that works for everyone.

The report sets out the interim steps required to make inspection safer, alongside the longer-term reforms required to deliver a fair, proportionate and humane inspection system. It says that 'systemic reform of both Ofsted and inspection is required if we are to retain today’s school leaders, give parents the accurate information they need, and make school leadership an attractive career proposition for the future.'

Commenting on the report, NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “The tragic case of Ruth Perry last year shone a bright light on the desperate need for Ofsted reform. It has been immensely frustrating that the concerns of the education profession and the warnings raised by NAHT for so many years have fallen on deaf ears.

“Thankfully, the new Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver, has signalled a welcome change in attitude, indicating his willingness to listen and to work with the profession."

Read the Rethinking School Inspection report.

Read our full press release.

First published 17 January 2024