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New Ofsted proposals could create a ‘cloud of uncertainty’ in schools

Ofsted has today launched a consultation seeking views on proposals which it hopes will bring ‘greater clarity’ to the short inspection process.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools in England said the proposals will do anything but.

“If Ofsted chooses to pursue this path they will in effect be creating an unofficial additional rating which will confuse parents and disrupt school leaders’ efforts to improve their schools.

"For the most part, parents, staff and governors understand the current four ratings (Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate). If, after a one day visit, inspectors are not able to determine that a school is still ‘Good’, they will now mark it out for re-inspection. This could be up to three years later - an unacceptably long delay. A cloud of uncertainty will linger over the school until Ofsted can arrange a return.

"Until the inspectors return all the school community will be left with is a letter which outlines the misgivings of inspectors but only gives a vague “not sure” or “good-ish” verdict. Parents may well wonder what is the point of inspection if it doesn't tell them how effective their child's school is and leaves behind more questions than answers.

"The uncertainty about the quality of education provided could become the single biggest barrier to improvement that the school in question will face."

Press and Media contacts:

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

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