Ofsted accused of 'pedagogical bias' over subject advisers for new inspections

But others praise list of advisers in five subjects, revealed by inspectorate

Ofsted advisers

Ofsted has been accused of being biased towards "traditionalist" education after it revealed the teachers who would be advising it on subject-specific inspection.

One commenter said the inspectorate was exhibiting "pedagogical bias", while another said it had dropped "any pretence it isn't following a traditionalist agenda".


Read: Ofsted move ‘could favour knowledge curriculum’

Investigation: Is Ofsted biased about the curriculum?

Need to know: Ofsted's new inspection framework


Ofsted's 42-strong list of teachers (see below) advising it on subject-specific inspection under its new framework was released began circulating on Twitter after it was released to the Education Uncovered website.

The list outlines Ofsted's advisers across English, maths, history, modern foreign languages and science.

The inspectorate was soon accused of bias towards "traditionalist" pedagogy. 

Three of those in the list - Christine Counsell, Stuart Lock and Bruno Reddy - are listed as supporters of Parents and Teachers for Education, which campaigns for "knowledge-rich" education. 

Debra Kidd, a teacher and education writer, accused Ofsted of was "very heavily leaning towards a traditional DI [direct instruction] bias".

Tom Rogers, an assistant headteacher and history teacher, commented: "No disrespect to anyone on here - many I greatly admire.

"But let’s be honest - if this isn’t pedagogical bias from an inspectorate that’s supposed to be completely and utterly neutral, I don’t know what is!"

And Tim Taylor, a teacher-trainer, said: "Today was the day [Ofsted] shrug off any pretence it isn't following a traditionalist agenda on curriculum and pedagogy. I've always tried to believe it was making an attempt at neutrality, but no longer."

However, others praised the list. The former headteacher and author Tom Sherrington said: "I like the lists. Plenty of view points in there and key voices of reason, wisdom and experience."

The list is not the first time Ofsted has been accused of favouring a traditionalist or knowledge-based curriculum.

As part of its research into curriculum design, Ofsted inspectors visited 23 schools last year. Of these, a third were described by Ofsted as having a knowledge-led curriculum, half were said to be knowledge-engaged and a smaller group were skills-led. 

Ofsted has been contacted for comment.

Ofsted subject advisers

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