Heads to bite back at Ofsted

22nd September 2006 at 01:00
Headteachers are to turn the tables on school inspectors by naming and shaming them if they are less than satisfactory.

The National Association of Head Teachers, which represents nearly 40,000 school leaders, is today launching "Offwatch", allowing members to report on inspectors in confidence on its website.

The association plans to build a database of unprofessional inspectors and inspection teams and will pass names of repeat offenders to Ofsted.

Mick Brookes, the association's general secretary, said problems ranged from inspectors making threatening remarks to inspection teams making up their minds purely on test data before setting foot in a school.

He said heads who suffered from punitive inspections were often afraid to complain because of fears it would rebound on them.

"We know that most teams are highly professional but there are some who seem to hunt for trouble leaving a wake of misery behind them," he said.

"This gives us a chance to police the police."

Mr Brookes, a former primary school head, said he hoped the association would be able to establish a positive version of the website in the future, where excellent inspectors could be praised.

The association is also launching a "post-inspection survival pack" today, containing advice for heads unhappy with inspections. They remain a key cause of stress for heads, despite attempts by Ofsted to work with a lighter touch.

Leader, 18

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