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School leaders respond to ‘unworkable’ new school inspection arrangements

Today (Tue 14 May), Ofsted announces the new inspection framework that will take effect from September. It has been hotly anticipated, but it is likely to disappoint many people who had hoped for a game-changer in the way schools are held to account.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary or school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The ambition in Ofsted’s plans is sound, but we are deeply concerned that it will prove to be unworkable in practice. Under these new arrangements, inspectors are being asked to do too much, with too little resource, and with too great a degree of subjectivity.

“It is right that Ofsted looks at the ‘quality of education’ on offer in schools – one would not expect them to look at anything else. But Ofsted has given its inspectors an impossible task to perform.

“It is difficult to see how the verdicts delivered from September will be any more useful than in the current system, particularly for parents. Ofsted has got a massive job on its hands to explain why they think this new framework is better than the old one.

“Only twenty-two days have passed since the consultation period ended, so we are extremely concerned that Ofsted has not processed all 15,000 responses thoroughly enough, and that as a result, many important views have been missed or ignored. As well as feeling rushed, announcing the new framework in the same week that SATs and GCSEs get underway shows a lack of appreciation for the pressures that schools are under.”

NAHT has published a consultation response on behalf of its 29,000 members who are school leaders in the majority of schools across England.

Press and Media contacts:

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

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363