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The education week that was: Parents' confidence in Ofsted takes a knock

Your one-stop shop of the week's biggest education news

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Your one-stop shop of the week's biggest education news

Ofsted inspects schools, but who inspects the inspectors?

That was the perennial question that came to mind this week after the inspectorate published the findings of a YouGov survey that showed that a decreasing number of parents think that it provides a reliable measure of a school’s quality.

Back in 2016, two-thirds (66 per cent) of parents thought this, but by last year the proportion had fallen to less than three in five (59 per cent).

There was also a drop, albeit smaller, in parents who think Ofsted is a valuable source of information about education in their local area (67 per cent, compared to 69 per cent in 2016).

But perhaps the most interesting finding was the number of parents who back no-notice school inspections: 61 per cent.

The pay of academy leaders was also in the news. Again

In the third batch of letters demanding that high-paying trusts explain themselves, the Education and Skills Funding Agency this time targeted all academy trusts paying at least two people £100-150,000 asking for an explanation.

Given the increasing hostility to high pay packets, it was perhaps little surprise that some academy trusts are seeking safety in numbers by coming together to agree objective criteria for setting high flyers’ salaries, in this case linking CEO pay to that of their NQTs.

And in case you needed a reminder of the level of disquiet about the issue, the annual conference of the ATL section of the National Education Union heard that excessive pay was evidence of a “rot of greed” taking root in the education system.

It was the last annual conference of the ATL, and, like the earlier NUT and NASUWT gatherings, it offered moving proof of the human cost of excessive workload on teachers.

In an emotional address to the conference, ATL president Niamh Sweeney spoke about how workload "burnout" left her crying on the way to work and caused her to walk out of the classroom.

This week sees many schools return after the Easter break, with MPs doing the same. On Tuesday, the Commons Education Select Committee will continue its inquiry into alternative provision.

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