Ms Amanda Spielman
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector
Dear Ms Spielman
As a union which represents teachers and support staff in schools and colleges, Voice was pleased to have the opportunity to respond to the consultation in the Education Inspection Framework.
This letter is further to our response and is to emphasise some of the concerns we have.
As we have said in our response, the consultation document is presented as a seductive proposal and whilst we might agree with the principles, we, and our members, were increasingly concerned that we were being asked to comment on what read as a rough draft. Without the detail on, amongst other points, what might constitute a ‘good curriculum’, this document will remain little more than a platitude without substance or detail and as such make it difficult to establish how the new framework will improve education standards.
Given these concerns, there is understandable disquiet about the full implementation of the new inspection framework this autumn, how it will be assessed and reviewed as fit for purpose and how any such review will be published.
Voice members, who report a great level of respect for HMIs and have confidence in their opinions, have long held the view that rigorous accountability can be achieved through a supportive, rather than a punitive, process similar to that experienced by Voice members in Scotland. It has been said that the attitude of HMI is distinct to that of Ofsted inspectors and suggests advantage, and confidence, within the teaching profession could be gained by reviewing the Ofsted model, perhaps to reflect the positive aspects of the HMIE model.
Voice is, and always has been, more than willing to contribute to discussion and work with Ofsted on the detail which we believe is missing. By engaging with our members and bringing their views forward to produce the necessary detail, together we can ensure that these proposals become a robust framework with the capacity to promote and improve education standards. To this end, we would welcome any opportunity to meet with you on the matter.
Voice’s English Executive Committee – which represents the diversity of our membership across all phases of education – would welcome the opportunity to contribute to that same conversation and would like to invite you to attend a future meeting of the committee. We hope it will be possible to find a mutually convenient date and time.
Deborah Lawson Val Ross
General Secretary Chairman Voice English Executive Committee