Calls to abolish Ofsted are growing following the suicide of head teacher Ruth Perry, reports the World Socialist Website.
Protests against the punitive system of school inspections in England, the school inspectorate Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) has announced minimal reforms.
The Conservative government has set up an inquiry into Ofsted. It was forced to respond, fearful that the outcry against the inspectorate would coalesce with the current struggle of teachers over pay, workload and education funding, which the education unions are desperately trying to contain.
Teachers took to social media to express their grief and anger; petitions were launched, and protests organised. The government’s response, however, in no measure addresses their concerns.
On June 12, Ofsted published lukewarm changes to its inspections process, writing, “[W]e have been in regular discussion with union leaders, other sector representatives and the DfE [ Department for Education] about a package of measures to improve aspects of our work with schools.”
These include, first and foremost, concerns around safeguarding requirements. Currently, if a school is “good” in other areas but fails its inspection because of “safeguarding”, Ofsted will return in three months for a further inspection.
A handbook will be given to schools to clarify what constitutes effective safeguarding. If the school then scores good, it will not face enforced academisation (academy schools are publicly funded but privately run).
Read more on The World Socialist Website.