Voice welcomes Ofsted report

Date: 18.04.11
Commons Education Committee’s Report, The role and performance of Ofsted.


Voice press release: 18 April 2011

Voice welcomes Committee’s Ofsted report

Voice: the union for education professionalshas broadly welcomed the Commons Education Committee’s Report, The role and performance of Ofsted.

General Secretary Philip Parkin said:

“Ofsted has become too broad and unwieldy and has lost its focus. A less bureaucratic and burdensome system would be welcome.

“Ofsted has been heavily criticised over the years for its methods and practice by everyone from educationalists to MPs and more recently by Plymouth’s Local Safeguarding Children Board.  It has even been described as ‘not fit for purpose’.

“Ofsted suffers from a tediously repetitive habit of pandering to the Government and the media by being negative, instead of accentuating the many positives in education. This approach creates the impression of a culture of failure and gives a negative impression to parents. 

“Voice is also concerned that there is a lack of balance in Ofsted’s approach. Ofsted no longer inspects outstanding schools although, under the new framework, they will able to request one in order to confirm their performance, but they might be asked to pay.

“Exempting outstanding schools from inspection is like giving a car that’s passed its MOT exemption from all further tests unless someone reports it for going through a red light.  As time passes and the head, staff and pupils change, so will the school. There’s no guarantee that it will remain ‘outstanding’.

“On the one hand, we have schools that can escape inspection because they were once, and hopefully remain, ‘outstanding’ while on the other, under plans proposed in an Ofsted consultation, a group of anonymous e-mailers could trigger an inspection, or at least a ‘risk assessment’, at a good school!

“There are also a number of glaring anomalies in its childcare operations.

“For example, Ofsted is unable to demand nannies return their certificate of registration if, following inspection, they have been disqualified and deregistered from the Voluntary Ofsted Register. 

“Ofsted was not given legal powers to insist that providers whose registration is cancelled return their registration certificate.  This means that, in England, an unscrupulous nanny who has been disqualified from working with children could show parents who are prospective employers her Ofsted certificate of registration and they would not know that the nanny had been found unsuitable to work with children.

“This is outrageous and endorses our belief that when the voluntary part of the Childcare Register was introduced it was merely to pay lip service to demands from the sector to bring the growing number of home childcarers in line with the safeguarding measures considered necessary for all other forms of childcare and early years provision. 

“A single UK national register for all working with children and young people would be much simpler and more effective than the current complicated, confusing plethora of compulsory and voluntary registers.  The Laming report called for a single system to end confusion. Instead we have even more registers!  Compulsory registration would also protect and raise the status of professional trained nannies.” 

Further information:

Commons Education Committee:

Education Committee calls for fundamental reform of Ofsted

Report: The role and performance of Ofsted


Have your say on the Voice Blog 


General Secretary Philip Parkin
Email: philipparkin@voicetheunion.org.uk

Senior Professional Officer (Early Years/Wider Workforce) Tricia Pritchard
Email: triciapritchard@voicetheunion.org.uk  

Voice Press Office
Email: pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk

Tel: 01332 372337