Five out of six teachers say Ofsted burdens the system

Watchdog's own report shows increase in numbers who think its inspections introduces an 'unacceptable level of burden'

84 per cent of teachers questioned said Ofsted placed an unacceptable burden on the system

Five out of six teachers think Ofsted brings “unacceptable levels of burden into the system”, according to the inspectorate’s own annual report.

Ofsted’s 2019 report shows there has been an increase in the proportion of teachers who agree with that statement compared with last year.

The inspectorate’s report says it wants to do more to stop its judgements and grades being “barriers to professionals working in challenging circumstances”.

Ofsted aims to use its new inspection framework, which comes into place in September, to reduce the burden in the sector.


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Its annual report, published today, shows Ofsted’s performance against a series of indicators.

It says that in 2019, 84 per cent of teachers agreed with the statement: “Ofsted inspection introduced unacceptable levels of burden into the system.”

This was a small increase on the 82 per cent who agreed in 2018.

The annual report says Ofsted’s aim was to reduce this figure to 78 per cent this year and to 66 per cent by 2022.

The report says these aims “are about making sure we know our overall direction and are stretching ourselves to get to where we want to be”.

It adds: “These aims are not targets and we will not treat them as such.”

The report says Ofsted met six of its 13 aims in its performance indicators.

This includes exceeding the expected amount of inspectors who said they have the information they need to do the job well (82 per cent against an aim of 80 per cent) and the number of school teachers who said their latest inspection was a fair and accurate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their school (61 per cent against an aim of 59 per cent).

Ofsted did not meet its aim for the number of parents who agree with the statement “Ofsted is a valuable source of information about education and childcare”.

The report shows 67 per cent of parents agreed with this statement, short of Ofsted’s aim of achieving 73 per cent.

Off-rolling numbers revealed

Ofsted’s annual report also reveals that the inspectorate has identified off-rolling at less than 5 per cent of the schools it visited with high numbers of pupils leaving.

The report says inspectors visited 63 out of 300 schools, between September 2018 and March 2019, where there were concerns about potential off-rolling because of pupil movement.

However, as Tes reported earlier this year, just three inspection reports in this period identified off-rolling as taking place.

There has subsequently been two more inspection reports identifying off-rolling, bringing the total to five.

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