Ofsted's planned changes to school inspection process are 'window dressing'


Matt O’Leary, Professor of Education at Birmingham City University, says Ofsted’s proposed changes to its school inspection system do not go far enough.

School of Education and Social Work

Birmingham City University

Inspections in England are to change after the suicide of head teacher Ruth Perry led to calls for reform.

Professor O’Leary said: “These proposed changes are little more than window dressing as Ofsted seeks to appease those communities that have criticised its practice and demanded change.

“These proposed changes don't address the underlying problems concerning Ofsted's role and the methodology it employs in inspections.

“In my view, what is needed is a root and branch reform of the inspectorate and its remit.”

Professor O’Leary added that Ofsted needs to go further with its intended reform.

“There are two concrete recommendations that need to happen,” he said.

“Firstly, a genuine recognition that there are fundamental flaws with the way in which 'evidence' is collected and used to form absolutist judgments about the quality of educational provision.

“Secondly, a complete rethink and reconfiguration of the role of inspectors to reflect a more transparent, dialogic approach to inspections.”

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