Ofsted fails to ease stress

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
You rightly draw attention to some of the drawbacks of the new inspection regime.

As the parent of a child attending the threatened Rosebery primary school,in Loughborough, I would add that, in this case, the Ofsted report provided the county council with a welcome excuse for closing the school.

It was not, as an official of the local education authority claims, the "driving factor" (elsewhere the same official has used the term "trigger").

The driving factor was the local authority's wish to "rationalise" primary provision in the area.

In order to push through closure in record time, they treated consultation as a charade, designing it, in the immortal (non-public) words of one official to "give the community the feeling that they were being consulted on the issues".

They also cut a few corners on the way, notably failing to comply with Department for Education and Skills guidance, which requires an authority to consider the option of federation after a school goes into special measures.

We are now, reluctantly, taking legal action against Leicestershire council, but how much better it would have been if the council had used the Ofsted report to help the school improve, not as a means of destroying it.

Robert Knight

27 Westfield Drive

Loughborough

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