ATL comment on Education Committee report on extremism in schools
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
“We welcome this report from the Education Committee and agree that Ofsted's inability to identify problems at some Birmingham schools raises questions about the reliability and robustness of Ofsted's judgements and how they are reached. The suggestion that Ofsted may have relied too heavily on raw data is not news to us.
“ATL’s vision for an inspection and improvement process would have self-assessment and professional dialogue at its heart and data would be used to guide, not decide. The data would be used to pose questions during the initial phase of the inspection process, the answers to which would be used to determine the make-up of the local inspection and improvement team.
“In addition to the over-reliance on data, is mistrust between the inspectors and the inspected. This breakdown in professional relationships has led to a deepening lack of support for the current inspection regime from those working in education and a lack of faith in Ofsted inspectors’ prescriptions for school improvement.
“It is clear from the Committee’s report that confidence in Ofsted has been undermined and the inspectorate must work hard to restore it. It is time to redesign school inspection as it is too important to be left unreformed and unsuited to its primary purpose – raising further the standards of education in all our schools.”