I spent much of my week arguing with inspectors about whether the money that pays them would be better spent on resources that would actually benefit the students. They were convinced that their work was of benefit. I believe that if we are working "for the students", then they must be accountable to the students.
Accountability is even more important when the report uses evidence based on informal discussion so it seems all too easy for them to misrepresent attitudes. I do not believe that commenting on whether a lesson is "unsatisfactory" or "good" will help anyone's education, whereas a system in which students are enfranchised can only encourage learning.
If inspections are to be taken seriously then they must discuss learning yet they cannot discover what is learnt without student consultations. It seems clear that any judgement from a consultation is only correct if the person who is consulted agrees that it is correct.
Jacob Bard-Rosenberg 35 Corinne Road Holloway, London N19.