Ofsted’s consultation on a new inspection framework closes today (Friday 5 April).
NAHT has published a consultation response on behalf of its 29,000 members who are school leaders in the majority of schools across England.
Nick Brook, NAHT deputy general secretary, said: “The ambition in Ofsted’s proposals is sound, but the reality is problematic. We recognise the good intent, but school leaders are unconvinced by the detail.
“What twenty-five years of inspection and accountability has taught us is to expect the unexpected. After every change of framework, unintended negative behaviours and practice have emerged as by-products of high-stakes scrutiny. This framework will be no exception.
“Focusing on meeting Ofsted’s requirements on curriculum may well drive new workload pressures in areas more to do with being Ofsted-ready than improving practice.
“Refusal to consider in-school data may well raise the stakes further on external exams and encourage further teaching to the test.
“Near no-notice inspection could prompt schools to be more inward looking during the inspection window, at the expense of collaborative working between schools.
“Few things cause as many sleepless nights for leaders as inspection. It is critical we get this right. NAHT’s point of view is shared by many other organisations in the education sector. We look forward to working with Ofsted as they examine the very detailed, thoughtful and constructive document we have submitted.”
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