'My career ended before Ofsted had even left the school’

One former headteacher explains how the pressure of the school accountability system cost him the job that he loved

John Roberts

One former headteacher explains how an Ofsted inspection signalled the end of his job

Jack went into teaching because he was passionate about making a difference for children.

But now he cannot wait to put the profession behind him after enduring what he describes as a nightmare.

A commission on education led by the National Association of Head Teachers has warned how school accountability pressures – Ofsted, league tables and targets - are forcing leaders and teachers out of the profession.

Jack* is one of them.

He lost his job following a negative Ofsted report that he felt was unfair. He was suspended while the inspection was still being carried out.

The pressures he was facing will sound familiar to school leaders.

His school had seen a drop in its test results, there was pressure to convert to academy status and an incoming Ofsted inspection.

But for him the consequences were dire

He was suspended on the second day of the inspection because of concerns about his leadership. When the report came out the school was rated as inadequate.

“I felt the report was grossly unfair. But I didn’t feel I could defend myself. There had been no concerns about my competence before the inspection.

Ofsted report 'was a lead weight around my feet'

"We had had a bad year in our results but I have known schools have worse results and be judged to be good.

“It felt to me like the Ofsted report was used as a mechanism to get rid of me. It was a lead weight around my feet."

Jack resigned from his job but says he is struggling to understand what happened to him.

“I have found it difficult to move on. I feel angry about the injustice of it.

“It has been very difficult. Our school had improved results after the Ofsted report came out but I had been suspended and I felt unable to defend myself.

“What happened has affected my self-esteem. I have had to have counselling.

"I am working as a classroom teacher again because I have to pay the mortgage but I cannot wait to put teaching behind me. I went into teaching because I wanted to make a difference for children.

"The education system had failed my family growing up and I was passionate about giving children the best possible opportunities. But when I look back now I think I was very naive about how the system works.”

*Not his real name.


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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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