Jump to content
About Us

The role of Ofsted

Recommended Posts

Over the last week, the tragic news of Ruth Perry made the news. By all accounts, the inspection report that led to this situation highlights the flawed approach that is currently in place during inspections. 

Ofsted's inspections have often been criticised for being too focused on achieving a specific set of targets and not taking into account the context of the school. The situation that Ruth found herself in was from Ofsted's own systems, which states that if there is an issue with safe guarding, then leadership must be failing. The rest of the report did not support this though - so where did common sense come into this? 

In my opinion, Ofsted should adopt a more supportive approach in their visits to schools. Instead of solely focusing on areas of improvement, they should also acknowledge the school's strengths and provide constructive feedback to help schools improve further. Spending a day at the school, and providing a few areas of development for the school to act on, before a follow up visit a few months later to see how they are getting on, would be far more supportive. 

I also believe that instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, Ofsted should consider the unique needs of each school and tailor their inspections accordingly. This would not only help schools improve but also create a more positive learning environment for students.

As teachers, we are expected to approach things with the child at the centre of all we do - so why not inspect with that approach too? 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Really agree with the emphasis changing from regulatory to advisory- rather like the LA advisory teams that used to exist but have now largely disappeared. 

One of the difficulties, in my view, is that an inspector can write about 30 pages of notes whilst they're carrying out the inspection but nobody (apart from Ofsted) ever get to see these. I talk from experience when I inspected during the Tribal contract years. In these notes, I'd include all the wonderful things I saw- what made that setting unique and how much learning the children were engaging with. I'd quote verbatim from staff and children and really paint as accurate a picture as I could, of my day in the setting. I'd also detail any problems and areas for improvement, as evidence for the final judgements, actions and recommendations, etc.

The problem comes after this- the inspector then has to use those notes to create a very short, dry inspection report- one that could be about virtually any other setting. All the nuance has gone and the inspector can only select from a limited number of phrases- if you've read lots of reports, you'll know what I mean! If only those notes could be made into a lengthier, accurate picture of the setting, ending with a few actions/recommendations. No one-word judgements.

Of course, there would still need to be an inadequate category for significant safeguarding concerns, where frequent subsequent inspections should be arranged until the setting reaches a safe standard.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)