Pupils' right to know

11th March 2005 at 00:00
Lisa Vyas does not share concerns about pupils being informed of inspectors' findings.

The head of Ladybarn primary in Manchester, jumped at the chance to pilot the new system last October.

"Children have as much right to know as parents about the judgements inspectors make," she said. "They know something is going on when inspectors visit but never get any feedback.

"Parents were saying 'isn't it nice Ofsted have remembered the children as well as the staff'."

Mrs Vyas said Ofsted's letter to pupils (right) was "the icing on the cake". Amy Parkes, aged nine, and a member of the school council, said: "I thought it was really good because now children know what they are doing is right."

Mrs Vyas praised the new emphasis on self-evaluation. "It felt like the inspection was done with us rather than to us," she said.

Reduced notice of inspectors' arrival helped cut pressure on staff and let them plan for the inspection like any other week.

But what if the report had been negative? Would it still have been a good thing to write to pupils?

Yes, said Mrs Vyas. "Inspections should be about children first. Anyway, children are good at evaluating schools. They probably already know those things that inspectors come in and find."

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