Press Coverage: The Independent
November 6, 2023
Majority of teachers believe Ofsted inspections are inaccurate – report
Nearly two in three teachers think the outcome of their most recent inspection did not accurately reflect their school, a survey suggests.
The majority of teachers believe Ofsted inspections are inaccurate, a survey suggests.
More than nine in 10 (92%) teachers surveyed agreed that Ofsted is not a “reliable and trusted arbiter of standards”, according to a report by an inquiry into the future of school inspection.
The poll, commissioned by the Beyond Ofsted inquiry, found that nearly two in three (62%) teachers did not think the outcome of their most recent inspection accurately reflected their school.
Even in schools judged to be “good” or “outstanding”, the majority (58%) of teachers did not think the rating from the education watchdog was fair.
The Beyond Ofsted inquiry was launched in April amid calls for the inspectorate to revamp its school ratings system – which uses one-word judgments – following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry in January.
Her family say Ms Perry took her own life after an Ofsted report downgraded her Caversham Primary School in Reading from its highest rating to its lowest over safeguarding concerns.
Her death is the subject of an inquest due to start at the end of this month.
The survey, of 6,708 teachers in England between March and May, found that 89% disagreed with the statement that Ofsted inspections are “a valid method of monitoring performance and holding schools to account”.
The study, which was carried out by UCL Institute of Education researchers and funded by the National Education Union (NEU), found that nearly three in four (74%) respondents described their experience with Ofsted as negative.
Lord Jim Knight, chair of Beyond Ofsted and a former schools minister, said: “The strength of feeling about the failings of the current system is clearly universal across the teaching profession.
“Our aim is to identify what is needed to make it fairer and more effective.”
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