The 'nightmare' inspector

4th February 2005 at 00:00
Turves Green girls' school, Birmingham, is among the schools named as the most successful in the chief inspector's annual report this week.

But for head Sara Brehony, the inspection in December 2003, was still a nightmare. "It left me feeling physically and emotionally drained. It should have been a celebration but the whole process was terrible," she said.

Turves Green's problems were caused by a trainee inspector. He formed his view of the school from test results sent to him before the inspection.

When staff pointed out the results were wrong, he refused to change his view. Instead he spent two and a half days poring over the data when he should have been observing lessons.

The trainee was withdrawn by his contracting firm before a visit by an HMI to check on his progress. Ten months after a complaint made with the support of the local authority, Ofsted upheld four charges against him, including inappropriate behaviour and poor organisation. It said his performance had been "unsatisfactory".

Mrs Brehony said: "When you have had a terrible experience like that it is difficult to revisit the process and make a complaint.

I do not know if I would have done it without the support of the local authority."

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