Betraying their ignorance;Letter

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
THE HELIX Consulting Group survey which compared Office for Standards in Education inspectors with "jobbing builders" (TES, January 8) supports the findings of our union's survey of teachers, who viewed OFSTED's inspections as "suspect, inconsistent" and lacking "objectivity".

Our members reported inspectors who showed their lack of early-years experience by asking about homework for three to five-year-olds and wanting to hear children of that age read. Lesson observation in primary schools ranged from three minutes to every day for four days.

It is hardly surprising that OFSTED is "demonised" when its survey reveals the stress teachers are placed under. I was particularly concerned to see the staff attendance table in the report: 69.8 per cent of schools had 96-100 per cent attendance before notice of inspection, but 50.2 per cent during the three months afterwards.

Kay Driver, General secretary, Professional Association of Teachers Derby

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