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Structures, inspection and accountability


School leaders understand the need for public accountability. Parents, politicians and the wider public want to be sure that schools are doing their very best for the children that they serve.

However, we also recognise that the current low-trust accountability system is based on a narrow range of measures that drive a range of perverse incentives and unintended consequences and that the current high-stakes inspection system all too often instils fear and stifles innovation. 

NAHT is committed to securing fairer methods and measures of accountability, so that pupils’ performance and school effectiveness are judged using a broad range of information, including the school's broader context and performance history, rather than a narrow focus on data.

NAHT is campaigning for:

  • Reforming the current accountability system, including the development of fair and accurate accountability measures that properly reflect a school’s performance.
  • Coordinated support for schools that need it, in place of intervention and forced structural change.
  • An acceptance from government that a form of robust school-led, peer-review should be a central element of a future accountability system
  • A refocusing of external accountability through a reformed inspectorate that delivers consistently high-quality inspection, with a forensic focus on improvement for schools that most need its support, and which gathers system-wide insights that promote innovation and best practice.
  • The delivery of appropriate, alternative measures for pupils with SEND.
  • The promotion of collaboration across the school system, so that schools work together taking collective responsibility for pupils in their communities, regardless of their status as an academy, maintained or other school type.
  • A commitment to improving equal opportunities and integration.
  • Individual schools to be able to decide whether conversion to an academy is the appropriate option, having undertaken meaningful consultation. No school should be forced to become an academy.

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