Jeremy Corbyn on Sats, Ofsted and teacher retention

The Labour Party Conference is in Brighton for the next few days, and party leader Jeremy Corbyn has spoken about his vision for education

Helen Ward


Jeremy Corbyn, Labour party leader, has replied to questions about the party's plans to abolish Ofsted by saying "you don't get the best out of people by threatening them".

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 this morning, Mr Corbyn said that the current Ofsted inspection system was a "very assertive form of investigation".

Retention: One in three teachers leaves within five years

Politics: Labour plans to abolish and replace Ofsted

Quick read: 53% of teachers say they're not listened to at work

Mr Marr pointed out that parents see Ofsted as a guarantor of standards and asked why, then, would Labour abolish it?

Mr Corbyn said: "They [Ofsted] turn up every few years, or sometimes more frequently than that, and do an exercise on that school and then make decision about it.

"The level of stress on students and teachers is absolutely enormous.

"What we want instead is a more frequent form of supportive investigation of schools, an examination of them through HMI (Her Majesty's Inspectors) but also through local authorities. It is part of reinvigorating local education authoroities to administer all schools within their community area."

Mr Corbyn then went on to refer to other education policy plans.

"We also want to get rid of Sats testing at key stage 1 and key stage 2," he said. "Because there is no evidence it actually improves the achievements of children. The stress levels on children are absolutely phenomenal.

"So what we want is an education service that leaves no child behind and gets the best out of everyone.

"We don’t achieve the best by threatening people. We are losing almost as many teachers as we are recruiting every year because of the levels of stress they are under.

"Why is it that young people do the job they really want to do – the job they love – and find after a couple of years that they cannot cope with the levels of stress? We are losing brilliant people – I want to keep them in the profession."

In response to Labour's plans on Ofsted, schools minister Nick Gibb has said that it was a sign of the "extreme left-wing ideological drift that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has taken”.

And added: “Labour are clearly intent on reversing the huge improvements that have been seen, particularly for the most disadvantaged children, by ending academies and free schools.

“Now they want to stop parents having even the most basic information so that they can make informed choices about their children’s schools.”

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

Latest stories