I hope that recent press coverage of primary inspection (TES, January 6) and other papers will encourage OFSTED to seriously consider some alternatives to the present system.
As head of a school that received a good report in the autumn term it would be easy to be complacent about the outcome. In many ways the report underpinned the school's own process of evaluation and development, but at what cost! It was certainly the most stressful experience that any of us had been through. The governors and staff obtained little new information (as David Winkley rightly points out) and not one parent has requested a full report. Is this really cost effective development work?
I would agree with both Elaine Ball and David Winkley that a more developmental model is essential. School development plans were a move in the right direction and I think the money would be much more effectively spent on supporting more focussed reviews of specific areas of a school's work on a regular basis. Surely the action planning aspect is the most important part of the process and yet it took six phone calls before I could find out to whom in OFSTED I should direct our own!
Clover Hill first school and nursery