Teachers demand Ofsted is scrapped as inspections system ‘riddled with issues’

More than 4 out of 5 lecturers suppose Ofsted ought to be axed as the colleges watchdog is riddled with points.

A survey by the National Education Union (NEU) discovered 82% suppose the present system ought to be changed because it has so many issues it “would be better to start afresh”. Some 90% suppose the single-word grading system – the place colleges are ranked from ‘excellent’ to ‘insufficient’ – is unfair.

Just 3% of lecturers consider Ofsted is trusted to uphold requirements in colleges and solely 4% suppose it acts independently of Government. The ballot of greater than 4,500 NEU instructor members in state colleges in England, discovered 62% mentioned inspections impacted their psychological well being and 59% mentioned it affected their house life.

One instructor mentioned: “Ofsted has created toxic environments resulting in damaging pressure on staff and ending the careers of excellent staff.”

Headteacher Ruth Perry took her own life while awaiting publication of a negative Ofsted inspection

Headteacher Ruth Perry took her personal life whereas awaiting publication of a damaging Ofsted inspection

Another mentioned they cried after talking to an Ofsted inspector, including: “I was absolutely petrified that I would say something wrong and let the school and my colleagues down. I felt so stressed and overwhelmed by the process.”

It comes amid ongoing tensions between the watchdog and colleges following the tragic demise of main college headteacher Ruth Perry. Mrs Perry took her personal life in 2023 whereas ready for a Ofsted report back to be revealed that downgraded her college to “inadequate”, the bottom doable score.

An inquest later dominated that the inspection had contributed to her demise. Ofsted chief Sir Martyn Oliver final month launched a public session over views on the watchdog. He has mentioned he desires to “mark a new chapter” with the sector, including that “nothing is off the table”.

NEU General Secretary Daniel Kebede mentioned: “Ofsted is out of touch and out of favour. As this survey shows, the inspectorate’s reputation has worsened since we last sought members’ views in 2022. No amount of rebranding will eradicate the entrenched view that Ofsted’s days are numbered. If it ever commanded respect, those days are now long gone.”

An Ofsted spokesman mentioned: “We inspect schools on behalf of children and their parents, but we are very mindful of the pressures on school staff. We have already made several changes to inspection over the last year, focused on school leaders’ and staff welfare. But we have promised to go further to strengthen confidence in our work.

“That’s why we launched our Big Listen final month. We’re asking dad and mom, kids, heads, lecturers and different professionals to assist form the best way we work in future and ensure all kids have the very best training and life probabilities.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our plan to make sure each little one advantages from a world-class training is working with 90% of colleges now judged to be good or excellent, up from 68% in 2010.

“Ofsted is central to driving forward that improvement. Their independent inspections are vital to ensuring children are safe in school, parents are informed, and the department is able to intervene where strictly necessary.

“We have labored intently with Ofsted to make sure inspections are carried out with professionalism and compassion. We are supporting Sir Martyn Oliver’s work via the Big Listen, to listen to from dad and mom, lecturers and training specialists to grasp the place extra enhancements will be made.”