Ofsted inspectors to face tougher consequences for poor judgements

Richard Vaughan

News article image

Ofsted inspectors will face greater consequences for issuing poor judgements on schools under a shake up of the entire inspection system, it has been suggested.

The watchdog is undergoing an overhaul in the way in which it works in a bid to try and improve the inspection system, after coming under fire from headteachers and politicians alike.

And Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director of schools, said on social media this morning that inspectors would be subjected to higher stakes as part of the inspectorate’s quality assurance drive. 

Mr Harford was reponding to a tweet from educationist and writer David Didau, who said he wanted to see greater consequences for inspectors, and a more transparent system of holding them to account.



The details, Mr Harford added, are being finalised now. 

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers’ union, said Ofsted was often too defensive when complaints were made by schools over individual judgements and that schools currently had very few options if they felt they had been treated unfairly.

“Ofsted needs a process where it can take feedback that isn’t a formal complaint and it needs to simplify its complaints system. Schools have a very limited window to complain about an inspection,” Mr Hobby said.

“Any complaints system would need independent investigators to look into it. Unless there was objective criteria it would be difficult to see how it would be policed." 

He added: "A further concern would be that inspectors may start using more vague and opaque language in their reports to avoid being held to account.”

An Ofsted spokesperson said: "Ofsted will be bringing inspection in-house from September which will drive up the quality and consistency of inspections. Details of how this will be implemented will be published in due course."


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

Richard Vaughan

Richard has been writing about politics, policy and technology in education for nearly five years after joining TES in 2008. He joined TES from the building press having been a reporter and then later news editor at the Architects’ Journal. Before then he studied at Cardiff University’s school of journalism. Richard can be found tweeting at @richardvaughan1

Find me on Twitter @RichardVaughan1

Latest stories

Girl doing the splits

10 features of a flexible classroom

A flexible, empathetic environment can work wonders for learning. Ginny Bootman offers her tips on how to achieve it
Ginny Bootman 30 Nov 2021
Early years: Why our broken EYFS system is failing

Why early years funding increases still fall short

An experienced early years head explains why 21p per hour funding increases don't go far enough for a sector that feels it is continually overlooked when the cash is handed out
Dr. Lesley Curtis 30 Nov 2021