Ofsted reports high satisfaction with new inspections


The vast majority of respondents to Ofsted’s post-inspection survey from September 2019 are satisfied with their inspections, according to Ofsted.

Based on new data, Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman revealed that nearly nine in ten respondents had answered positively.

Some 88.6% of more than 1,300 responses either strongly agreed or agreed when asked if they were satisfied with the inspection process.

The data covers state-funded school and other visits between early September 2019 and the end of February 2020.

Ms Spielman told attendants at the Heads Forward School Leadership conference in London that Ofsted has “got close to 90% of people, high 80s…saying that they are happy or very happy, that the process was fair, that it was constructive, that it would help to improve – against the 10% who are more negative”.

“I don’t think the ratio of positive-negative is coming through, but we take the negative really seriously,” she added.

Critics of the new framework

Some school leaders have criticised the new inspection framework for now being too focused on the curriculum, rather than learning outcomes.

Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Foundation, suggested at the conference that the “pendulum has swung too far”.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) added that while many schools view the new process as an improvement, the majority have concerns over how they are judged.

Their survey of nearly 800 leaders found that 89% voiced concerns that the system does not consistently, fairly and accurately judge schools, although not all those quizzed had experienced a new inspection first-hand.

Geoff Barton, the ASCL’s general secretary, has called on Ofsted to provide “greater clarity, reassurance and consistency” so that schools can know exactly where they stand.

Some 61% of those quizzed by the ASCL said that narrative judgement should replace the current set up, with a further 29% suggesting that reform of some kind is necessary.

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