The leaders of five teaching unions have written to education secretary Nicky Morgan and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, branding the government's response to the profession's workload crisis as a "missed opportunity". The general secretaries of the ATL, the NUT, Voice, the NAHT headteachers' union and the Association of School and College Leaders argue that government plans to ease teachers' burden in light of the Workload Challenge survey do not "get close to the root cause" of the problem. As TES exclusively revealed last week, the ministers have put together what they call a "new deal" for teachers, which promises no major changes to Ofsted inspections or government policy during the academic year, "except when absolutely necessary".
`Outstanding' grade is misleading, top head says
The "outstanding" grade used by Ofsted creates a "false impression" about the quality of schools and carries too much influence in the education system, according to a high-performing school leader. Gary Phillips, headteacher of Lilian Baylis Technology School in South London, which was rated outstanding across the board in its most recent inspection two years ago, said the judgement carried too much weight and suggested it was time for an overhaul of inspection grades. Speaking at a Westminster Education Forum event on school inspection, Mr Phillips also argued that it was time to consider dropping the "inadequate" rating because it could cause schools to go into "free fall".
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