Let us know your views on Ofsted (updated)

Comments on Ofsted, its statements and inspections with updates.

By Editor Richard Fraser

Members: If you have any general comments about Ofsted, or would like to comment on an inspection while it is in progress, you can email us in confidence  with any enquiries you may have. Your thoughts and opinions will help us to give feedback to Ofsted.

Update: 1 December 2016

Ofsted's 2015/2016 Annual Report (and comment from Voice)

Update: 22 November 2016

New report from EPI. Voice would like to see a supportive and positive, rather than punitive and negative, Ofsted that makes a constructive contribution to our schools.

Update: 7 July 2016

Voice: “Education Secretary must listen to Education Committee on Ofsted Chief Inspector” TES: Letter circulating to support Spielman

Update: 13 June 2016

Voice comments on nomination of new Ofsted Chief Inspector

Update: 7 June 2016

"Sweeping generalisation" in press release from Ofsted.

Update: 1 December 2015

Ofsted's Annual Report 2014/2015: education and skills

Update: 13 July 2015

Ofsted's annual early years report 2015

Update 15 June 2015

Changes to inspections from September 2015

Update: 16 January 2015

'Double inspections'

Update: 10 December 2014

Voice's response to Better inspection for all consultation

Update: 17 October 2014

Ofsted inspections - clarification for schools.

 "The purpose of this document is to confirm facts about the requirements of Ofsted and to dispel myths that can result in unnecessary workloads in schools. It should be read alongside the School inspection handbook."

Update: 9 October 2014

Ofsted's consultation: Better inspection for all - consultation on proposals for a new framework for the inspection of schools, further education and skills providers and registered early years settings

Update: 25 September 2014:

"Low-level disruptive behaviour in classrooms across the country is impeding children’s learning and damaging their life chances, according to an Ofsted report published today (25 September). The report finds that pupils are potentially losing up to an hour of learning each day in English schools because of low-level disruption in the classroom – the equivalent of 38 days of teaching lost per year."

Do you agree? Whether you're a member of Voice or not, please do let us know your comments and experiences with Ofsted below. 


Goodbye 3Rs and Hello 3Cs…

Controversy, Cronyism and Conflict of Interest.

The 3Cs play a part in the recent appointment of David Hoare as the next Chair of Ofsted.

Yes, his appointment might be less controversial than David Ross (Carphone Warehouse co-founder, friend of David Cameron and former tax exile) would have been, but Hoare’s new position still smacks of ‘Goveism’.

Cronyism in that Hoare is a trustee of AET, one of the largest academy chains. This may well lead to a conflict of interest, which is in itself controversial.

New broom as Secretary of State? Same old debris floating around.

So it's ok to have a "proven business leader" (according to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan) chairing the "Office for Standards in Education" but would the Financial Services Authority, for example, have as its chair a teacher, doctor or non-financial specialist?

So there is some honour among political appointees.....David Hoare is to step down from AET and if he can remain objective and neutral, possibly avoiding questions about the chain in relation to 'quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'

Sky News: "'Kids At Risk' By Overdue Nursery Inspections": http://news.sky.com/story/1311113/kids-at-risk-by-overdue-nursery-inspec...

From the forthcoming August 2014 "Your Voice" members' magazine:

"Concerns over Ofsted’s role

"A report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) highlighted serious sector concerns over Ofsted’s role in the regulation of the early years. Review of Enforcement in the Childcare Sector, which gathered evidence from early years representatives, aimed to identify any compliance and enforcement activity that ‘appeared to be unreasonably holding back those operating (or potentially operating) in the sector’.

"It found that many providers had serious concerns over the quality, volume and coherence of Ofsted guidance, as well as the inconsistency of inspections and ratings, and the accuracy of written reports.

"It highlighted an absence of inspector accountability and issues with challenging a finding that was perceived to be unfair, linked to confusion over recent changes to inspections that are triggered by a concern.

"The report highlighted the value placed on the role of the local authority as a provider of advice, information and training: ‘Some providers expressed concerns that the local authority advice role may be withdrawn; these concerns were exacerbated by the fact that whilst Ofsted has a duty to bring about improvement through inspection, its role is not to give individual advice to providers.’

"Under new rules, local authorities are only required to provide information, advice and training to providers rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.

"The report highlighted too the apparent confusion caused by perceived overlaps between the regulatory role of Ofsted and that of other authorities, such as environmental health.

"Uncertain times!"



"Revised guidance for inspections of maintained schools and academies

"The updated school inspection framework, school inspection handbook and a new document Inspecting safeguarding in maintained schools and academies have been published": http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/revised-guidance-for-inspections-of-mainta...

TES: "Is Ofsted’s grading ‘scandalous’?... "Ofsted is judging schools on the academic ability of students, rather than on the quality of the education offered, analysis of the inspectorate’s reports suggests..." http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6440390

Ofsted begins series of no notice school inspections: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/ofsted-begins-series-of-no-notice-school-i...

BBC: Heads reject Ofsted's poor classroom behaviour claims: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29310929

On Twitter: Steve Smith @spsmith45
"@Voicetheunion Ofsted have best overview of this issue, no? Other evidence more anecdotal."

Ofsted’s mythbusting document 'Ofsted inspections: Myths': http://bit.ly/OfstedMyths

Ofsted’s YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLq-zBnUkspMMLT3LbN7M00gYw8noHPEi

Blog from Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director for Education about mythbusting: https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk

Malcolm Trobe, the interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "It is disappointing that Ofsted has issued a press release which makes a sweeping generalisation about education across an entire region. It risks damaging the morale of staff, pupils and parents.

"The majority of schools in the East Midlands are judged by Ofsted to be outstanding or good, just as they are across England. Those schools which are struggling are in this position for a variety of reasons and it is important to understand these specific factors in order to address them."

I hope that the new Chief Inspector, with her reported focus on “efficacy and values”, “financial management” and “big system oversight issues” (https://www.tes.com/news/tes-magazine/tes-magazine/a-new-chief-inspector...) will not lose sight of the fact that Ofsted is the “Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills”, with the mission statement “raising standards, improving lives”.

I am concerned that the recommendation of Amanda Spielman, with her business focus and lack of classroom experience, sends the message that the Education Secretary favours market values, competition and the bureaucracy of academisation over educational values and the professionalism of teachers and headteachers.

Although a controversial figure, Sir Michael Wilshaw spoke with independent authority from his experience as a teacher and headteacher. Ofsted should not be an extension of the Education Secretary's office, with the Chief Inspector in the role of business manager.

I look forward to raising members' concerns with the new Chief Inspector. Ofsted has been a major contributory factor in driving teachers out of the profession and deterring new teachers.

Voice would like to see a supportive and positive, rather than punitive and negative, Ofsted that makes a constructive contribution to our schools.

Ofsted's next head, Amanda Spielman, rejected by MPs http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36723828

"Education Secretary must listen to Education Committee on Ofsted Chief Inspector"

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