Is Ofsted telling the whole truth?

13th April 2012 at 01:00

As a former HMI and a critic of Ofsted, I need to defend inspectors ("Ofsted 'does not have details' of inspectors' previous experience", 6 April). If Ofsted claims it does not have details of the experience of HMIs, it is at the very least being economical with the truth. That kind of evidence must be in Ofsted's personnel files, but it doesn't want to reveal it.

To recognise outstanding leadership of a school it is not necessary to have been an outstanding leader, but it is necessary to know about leadership, to have experienced leadership and to have visited a considerable number of schools where that leadership is judged outstanding by experienced inspectors. If the article's implicit argument is accepted, how could great art ever be judged great except by great artists?

Professor Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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