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Ofsted appeals

Phil Goss Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire

It is encouraging that Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector, suggests heads should challenge inspection reports. There are many reasons why the complaints procedure is not used more: one is a perception that it is unwieldly; another is the possibility that the head might have been shown the door before a complaint could be pursued. Perhaps Ms Gilbert's comments anticipate a more respectful approach to inspection? Meanwhile, it gives pause for thought that almost half of grievances are upheld. Does this imply that up to 50 per cent of Ofsted judgments may be flawed? This implication will do nothing to allay unease about the untrammelled power of Ofsted over schools and heads.

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