According to the BBC (26 June) a number of Ofsted inspectors have no teaching experience whatsoever.
Other reports suggested that at least two inspectors were former head teachers of schools failing against Ofsted criteria who had left their posts!
This will come as no surprise to many teachers.
Gove has used Ofsted as a threat to force through his unwanted academies — as a kind of Damocletian sword hanging over the heads of teachers everywhere. If the school fails it will have to become an Academy.
Classroom teachers face constant erosion of their conditions of employment and pension rights combined with an ever increasing overly-bureaucratic workload. Ofsted makes matters worse.
Ofsted inspections are an officious and pointless waste of learning time. Since few of them look at more than fifteen minutes of an hour-long lesson, they don’t even evaluate a representative sampling of educational standards.
The threat of an inspection is used as an excuse for developing a school management agenda not in the interests of staff,, such as extra meetings and compulsory “training projects” which only add to escalating stress levels.
Worse yet, under new DfES guidelines (which many schools are unthinkingly and uncritically applying), a single negative Ofsted observation could trigger capability proceedings against a member of staff, regardless of experience, past work history or personal context. All based on a few minutes and a brief browse through exercise books.
To have confirmed that Ofsted are recruiting — via, please note, private consultation companies — individuals with little or no experience of the realities of the role is an insult. It is an insult to the professional integrity and standards of school staff. An insult to their intelligence to expect them to gratefully accept the results of an inspection they neither wanted nor needed, staffed by those who, it now appears, are least capable of understanding that which they inspected.
A clear message needs to be sent to the teaching unions; non-compliance with Ofsted should be one of our priorities as a vital part of the next round of non-strike action.