Ofsted forced to reveal survey findings

4th March 2011 at 00:00

Ofsted has released the results of staff and student surveys carried out during an inspection for the first time.

Despite publishing the data for one school following a teacher's request under the Freedom of Information Act, the watchdog says that it has no plans to make the survey results available routinely.

But the landmark ruling, in which Ofsted concluded that public interest in the "transparency of the inspection process" outweighed potentially prejudicing the outcome of future surveys, paves the way for other schools' survey data to be released.

Teacher Phil Bougeard asked for data on surveys carried out during the inspection of Windsor School, based on the Rheindahlen British military base in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to be released.

"I was initially informed that this data was never made available to schools and that there was no exception to this," Mr Bougeard told The TES.

"After four more emails and the threat of the Freedom of Information Act, Ofsted finally started to respond in a more co-operative manner.

"Approximately seven weeks after my initial request I finally received the data analysis that I had been requesting. I was both disappointed and shocked by Ofsted's reaction to what would appear to be a totally feasible request," Mr Bougeard added.

"I believe that for any inspection process to be both transparent and robust, any data that is collated from voluntary questionnaires must be shared, especially with the individuals that were encouraged to participate in the initial exercise.

"Ofsted's very clandestine approach to this matter has further reinforced my own perceptions, that the inspection process is certainly not there to serve and assist teachers and has far too many fundamental flaws that need addressing."

The surveys for the outstanding-rated school, which is due to close in July 2013, revealed 39 per cent of staff surveyed disagreed or disagreed strongly with the statement that "the school makes appropriate provision for my professional development".

Among students, 17 per cent of respondents disagreed or disagreed strongly that they enjoy school.

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