Labour’s announcement this morning that it will abolish Ofsted has been welcomed as a “long overdue” by the NEU teaching union.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said England’s schools inspectors were not only failing to give parents an accurate account of school standards but also fuelling a crisis in teacher recruitment, according to The Observer.
Ms Rayner said: “We would abolish Ofsted and we would replace it with a different system.
“I believe Ofsted measures poverty. It measures deprivation. It doesn’t measure excellence. And I think Ofsted has to measure excellence. It’s driving these competitive league tables.”
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Education minister Nick Gibb said this morning that the move was “yet another sign of the extreme left-wing ideological drift that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has taken”.
He said: “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.”
Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, welcomed the news.
She said: “Ofsted has been a force for lowering school standards by driving teachers from the profession.
“Teachers and school leaders know from bitter experience that too many Ofsted inspectors have neither the knowledge nor professional experience to come to accurate judgements of schools.
“Schools in disadvantaged areas, doing the hardest work, are routinely downgraded by Ofsted, not for the quality of their teaching but because of the deprivation of their pupils.
“Of course schools must be accountable – to their pupils, to parents, to employers and to the wider community. No one wants to return to an era of inadequate checks and balances on schools.
“But teachers deserve to be inspected by inspectors who are qualified in the subject and age phase they are inspecting.
“Labour’s proposal to abolish an overall school grade is long overdue. Schools are too complex to be reduced to a single grade. Under Labour’s proposals, inspections will focus on those areas of a school which clearly need to improve.”
Ms Rayner is due to address the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this morning.