Schools and Of­sted seek­ing rule change

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

In this week’s pa­per we reveal how a num­ber of the re­gion’s schools have not been in­spected by Of­sted in more than a decade.

It should be noted that the rea­son for this is that all those that fall into this cat­e­gory were deemed ‘out­stand­ing’ by in­spec­tors on their last visit and the law has pre­vented them from re­turn­ing since 2012.

In fair­ness to them, the head teach­ers we spoke to this week were very open in say­ing they would wel­come their re­turn.

Like­wise Of­sted them­selves have also pub­licly vented frus­tra­tion at the ex­emp­tion im­posed on ‘out­stand­ing’ schools and has re­cently ramped up the pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment to change the law.

The De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion in­sists the pol­icy does not mean they are ex­empt from ac­count­abil­ity, and when se­ri­ous con­cerns are raised, Of­sted does in­deed have the power to re-in­spect such schools.

But many would ar­gue that it should not have to get to a dras­tic, cri­sis-like stage where Of­sted sim­ply have to in­ter­vene, for an­other in­spec­tion to take place.

Choos­ing the right schools for our chil­dren is a huge de­ci­sion for par­ents to make: they need to know the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion is strong and the en­vi­ron­ment is fair, safe and sup­port­ive.

Af­ter all, school is not just where we go to learn Maths and English, it’s where we go to grow and de­velop into adults, often meet­ing friends that last a life­time along the way.

Surely it’s only fair that par­ents are given an up-to-date as­sess­ment when mak­ing this de­ci­sion, rather than hav­ing to sift through out­dated feed­back that may even be older than the chil­dren they’re look­ing to send there.

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