Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the publication by Ofsted of its strategy for the next five years.
“It’s a shame that Ofsted doesn’t appear to recognise that the inspection system needs to be reformed.
“At the moment you are far more likely to be judged below good if your school serves a disadvantaged community. This isn’t because your school is necessarily doing anything wrong but because there are some very significant challenges associated with this context – the biggest of which is attracting sufficient numbers of specialist teachers to fill vacancies in the midst of an ongoing recruitment crisis.
“Ofsted judgements then serve to stigmatise these schools making recruitment all the more difficult and consigning them to a vicious cycle which makes sustainable improvement extremely challenging. This is not in the best interests of children in these communities and is irreconcilable with Ofsted’s fundamental principle to be a force for improvement.
“There is nothing new about this problem but neither Ofsted nor the government has anything to offer about how to address it and create a truly intelligent inspection system.”