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A step too far for Ofsted?

Ofsted’s plan to put curriculum, rather than exam results, at the heart of its inspections has been broadly welcomed by teachers – but chief inspector Amanda Spielman’s flagship reform has put her on a collision course with the government. The education secretary fears that the move will increase teacher workload, and other key education figures have raised doubts about whether the watchdog will be able to make effective, impartial judgements on the curriculum. The head of Ofsted should prepare for battle, writes William Stewart

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Amanda Spielman has set out her stall.

The chief inspector has explained on national TV and radio, and in front of headteachers in Newcastle, how she intends to move Ofsted away from an emphasis on data and exam results to looking at “the real substance of education”.

Not only that, but her reform of school inspections will also reduce teacher workload, Spielman claimed last month. It is an attractive pitch, particularly for teachers and school leaders sick of decades of perverse incentives pushing them into doing the wrong thing. And, by all accounts, it has gone down very well.

If all goes ...

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