Treat good reports sceptically

29th September 1995 at 01:00
Gerald Haigh reports on a school which received a "glowing " report from the Office for Standards in Education and he comments that the school "will benefit from such a boost to the self-esteem" (Primary Update, TES, September 8). But should a school feel self-esteem because of a good report from OFSTED? Mr Haigh seems to pre-suppose that OFSTED inspectors know what they are talking about and that their reports are sound and reliable.

In August you reported an open letter to Education Secretary Gillian Shephard from a group of distinguished academics, including professors Antony Flew, Harvey Goldstein and Ted Wragg; the letter raised serious doubts about the reliability of OFSTED reports and about the credibility of the OFSTED inspection process. OFSTED seems to have made no attempt to answer these criticisms. No doubt many of your readers are awaiting a response with interest.

In the meantime, schools receiving good OFSTED reports should not get too carried away with self-esteem. Similarly, schools receiving bad reports should not be downhearted: OFSTED, I suspect, is an organisation "of whom to be dispraised were no small praise".

S J PERCIVAL

207 High Street, London SE9

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now