Ed­u­ca­tion in­spec­tors urged to scrap ‘out­stand­ing’ rat­ing for schools

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

OF­STED SHOULD scrap its “out­stand­ing” rat­ing and re­place it with a more ro­bust sys­tem for iden­ti­fy­ing spe­cific ex­cel­lence, a re­port has rec­om­mended.

The school in­spec­tions body should also adopt a new role fo­cus­ing on iden­ti­fy­ing fail­ure, ac­cord­ing to the Im­prov­ing School Ac­count­abil­ity re­port pub­lished by the Na­tional Association of Head Teach­ers (NAHT).

It said the cur­rent sys­tem lim­its am­bi­tion, in­cen­tivises self-in­ter­est and di­verts at­ten­tion from teach­ing and learn­ing. Nick Brook, NAHT’s deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary and the chair­man of the association’s com­mis­sion on ac­count­abil­ity, said: “The way in which schools are be­ing held to ac­count is, on bal­ance, do­ing more harm than good.

“NAHT’s Ac­count­abil­ity Com­mis­sion is in­tended to be a con­struc­tive con­tri­bu­tion, to start a de­bate that is ur­gently needed on the fu­ture of school ac­count­abil­ity. It can­not be right that teach­ers and lead­ers are put off work­ing in schools in chal­leng­ing ar­eas be­cause they sim­ply do not be­lieve that the in­spec­tion sys­tem will treat them fairly for do­ing so.”

He added that fear of ac­count­abil­ity has changed how many schools are led and the rec­om­men­da­tions would re­duce many of the neg­a­tive im­pacts as­so­ci­ated with the sys­tem. Sug­gest­ing the scrap­ping of the “out­stand­ing” judg­ment, the re­port said it does not de­scribe the pin­na­cle of ex­cel­lence and there are few in­cen­tives to look be­yond it.

Speak­ing at the launch of the NAHT’s ac­count­abil­ity re­port, the chief in­spec­tor of schools, Amanda Spiel­man, said: “There isn’t a holy grail – we can see that bal­ance is re­quired. I have been very clear that we should be fo­cused on what is hap­pen­ing in schools.”

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