Outrage of Ofsted tyranny

16th June 2006 at 01:00
When I wrote about Ofsted (TES, May 26), I thought I was hard-hitting. From last week's paper, showing that heads have actually begun to lose their jobs as a result of these inspections, it is clear that I did not hit hard enough. The reports are not merely invalid, but potentially tyrannical.

Governing bodies across the country need to be aware of the paucity of evidence on which super-light inspection reports are based, and to compare them with their own analysis of the school's performance, with outside support if they need it.

The idea that a person's career should be placed in jeopardy as a result of one of these reports is an outrage, not least in a middle school, where the final outcome of its work is not even measurable in terms of Sats.

If Ofsted does not treat headteachers fairly, then governors are their last line of defence. But then, Ofsted doesn't feed back to governors any more, or even meet them.

The first priority of the new chief inspector must be to restore credibility, justice and basic respect to the system. Christine Gilbert might follow the example of one of her predecessors, who said, in taking over, that: "From now on, judgements will be based on evidence."

John Bald

7 Symonds Lane



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