Inspection has traumas and rewards

12th March 2010 at 00:00

Following the negative press that seems to have surrounded Ofsted and its new inspection framework, I felt it important to redress the balance.

From the initial phone call to inform us of our recent inspection, there was a clear sense that this was a process that would be done with us not to us.

Professional dialogue and engagement was a key feature, with the opportunity to carry out shared observations and discuss judgments. The lead inspector acknowledged that the judgment for attainment and attendance was "as is", however, there was strong recognition of the work the school had carried out in both these areas.

The process was rigorous but the inspectors were skilled at putting staff at ease and seeking the evidence that provided the fullest possible picture of our school.

I believe the new framework is a step in the right direction and, when carried out by a knowledgeable team and engaged with by the school leadership, provides schools with the opportunity to have their own evaluations validated through a professional process.

Hayley Marshall, Headteacher, Bradford.

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