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Any new plans for inspection and improvement must put schools back in the driving seat, says NAHT

Responding to Labour's proposals for reform of school inspection and accountability, Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:

"NAHT has long campaigned to rebalance holding schools to account with helping them to improve. The high-stakes consequences and fear that skew the current system mean that we are not seeing true assurance, solid diagnostics and proper support for schools and their teams.

"NAHT published the results of its Accountability Commission in September 2018. Since then our recommendations have helped shape the discussion on how to move towards a fairer and more reliable system. Today's announcements from Labour mirror many of the findings of the commission.

“NAHT's Accountability Commission did not call for the abolition of Ofsted. The name above the door of the school inspectorate is less important than how it operates. However, reform is necessary.

“Scrapping the four judgements in favour of something else, which is still easy for everyone to understand, but doesn’t reduce an entire school to a single grade, is absolutely the right thing to do and is something we’ve been suggesting for several years.

“A light-touch health-check approach for schools that are already good, with a more detailed focus and resources to identify and support those schools that still need to improve, is the right way to go.

“We are pleased to see that Labour agree that peer review should be a significant part of school improvement. Emerging evidence shows that schools can improve faster and more sustainably by working together. NAHT has just published a report outlining nine key principles of effective school-to-school peer review, which will be discussed at both the Labour and Conservative party conferences this month.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363