Parliamentary motion calls for Ofsted to be scrapped

MPs increase pressure on inspectorate as councils also call for independent review

Sir Michael Wilshaw
Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw Photo: REX/Lucy Ray / Associated Newspapers

A motion tabled in parliament this week has called for Ofsted to be axed.

The motion put forward by MP for Bradford West George Galloway stated: “Ofsted has become a political tool for ill-thought out policies and political prejudices.

“Ofsted is not fit for purpose and should be rapidly wound up.”

Early day motions are a way of members of parliament putting forward issues for debate, but very few are actually debated.

However, the motion follows calls from councils for an independent review  of Ofsted..

Chair of the LGA’s children and young people board Cllr David Simmonds told Community Care they had questions over the credibility and consistency of the  inspectorate. “We think there is some value to the system but we want to make Ofsted  part of the solution.”

Simmonds  flagged up the inspectorate’s habit of downgrading schools’ and councils’ ratings when they hit the media and said an independent review would help restore faith that the inspectorate was not just a media-driven organisation.

“Ofsted’s knee-jerk response to a scandal seems to be to re-inspect a school and declare it failing,” he said, and called upon the inspectorate to enter into negotiations with the LGA about a regime change.

Ofsted responded that  it has raised the bar for both education and care services.

In a statement it said: “It is simply incorrect to suggest our inspection judgements are influenced by anything other than the evidence we find.

“We know that previously high performing institutions can deteriorate rapidly when they suffer staff turbulence or a sudden change in leadership.”

President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), Alan Wood also voiced his concern about the inspectorate at last month’s NCAS conference.

Wood pointed out resources that should be used to help service users get redirected to cope with the burden of an inspection on a council.

“A bad Ofsted inspection in the medium term is corrosive,” he said.

But The College of Social Work’s chief executive Annie Hudson said the professional body is focused only on delivering good social work and this means working closely with the inspectorate as well as the profession.

“The College believes in the need for strong systems of professional accountability and in the need for continuing practice improvement.  Effective inspection is one, but not the only lever for improving standards,” she said.

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6 Responses to Parliamentary motion calls for Ofsted to be scrapped

  1. Matthew Cooper November 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    George Galloway for PM!!!

  2. Ian Hall November 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Never thought I would agree with Galloway but he is spot on. This is a political tool that changes with each government .

  3. Phil Arthur November 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    I agree with Duncan in that I also thought that I would never agree with the odious Galloway. But, OFSTED!
    It comes into schools with preconcieved ideas about what is “good practice”. It has little interest in the quality of the lessons, all that interests it is paperwork … has the school got policies on everything conceivable.
    OFSTED has no morals or honour, it changes what it “thinks” and/or “expects” with the whim of the latest education minister.
    And, it’s inspectors love being bullies, they revel in the fear and dread that they cause.

  4. Phil Sanderson November 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    Ofsted are famous of course for rating Haringay good and then came Baby P and a snap reinspection with a report that went through 13 drafts found them to be inadequate…well fancy that! as they say in Private Eye

  5. Dave Kerr November 11, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    They do seem not to have any power and do not help the Consumer.

  6. Rose Thompson November 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    I agree with George Galloway that OFSTED is not pit for purpose, as they have no foundation/policy that worked for the protection of children, young people and their families/carers. Going back to Haringey’s Children’s Services that they given outstanding and when the Baby Peter’s untimely death on the hand of his parent. OFSTED’s 1st report was vanished and a re-assessment of the same department proven Haringey’s Children’s Service to be inadequate.