Opinion Former Article

Ofsted: Schools inspected in England have improved

Commenting on the Ofsted official statistics on inspections and outcomes for schools, covering the quarter ending 31 December 2012, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

‘At last some positive words from Sir Michael Wilshaw who has described as ‘very encouraging’ the fact that three quarters of all schools are good, or outstanding. The NUT says congratulations to them all.

‘Many schools will have been working under considerable pressure and stress to improve their inspection rating and this may have been at the expense of working in a way that really is in the interest of all children.

‘No one would disagree that we expect high standards in our schools but only yesterday those standards which were decreed good have now been raised. Next year primary schools will need to have 65% of pupils achieving the expected levels in English and maths, up from 60%. This is a cynical move to ensure that by hook or by crook those not reaching the new targets will face conversion to academy status.

‘Michael Wilshaw takes a particular delight in using his position to inject fear into the school community. Schools working together sharing best practice and having a budget and access to resources and expertise from the local authority is the way that pupils and teachers will flourish. The evidence from the London and City Challenge programmes which were scrapped by this Coalition Government were a testament to how successful this approach is. The projects should never have been stopped and really do need to be brought back’.

END               PR36-2013
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