Ofsted acumen less than 'satisfactory'

8th January 2010 at 00:00

Am I alone in feeling a sense of despair when I read Christine Gilbert arguing that when judgments are made in school inspections the importance of overall test and exam results comes above value-added measures?

National averages by definition reflect a range of outcomes for a variety of reasons. Simplistic judgments based mainly on test outcomes ignore the complex realities that schools face, particularly those in areas of high social deprivation. Such inspection judgments are a consequence of the development of a centrally managed education service that has narrowed the understanding of success and has a low trust of schools.

It is a great disservice to the efforts and achievements of all those who work and study in schools in challenging contexts not to recognise the different starting points that pupils have.

Paddy Heneghan, Headteacher, The Divine Mercy RC Primary School, Manchester.

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