Ofsted inspections questioned after outstanding primary schools fail

A new framework by Ofsted, which was implemented in September last year, is raising eyebrows after high performing schools are flagged as having failed.

Critics of the new system say it puts a lot of emphasis on students’ anecdotal evidence of what they say. One example cited is an interview with an eight-year-old, which took a surprising turn. The student was asked about Vikings and what he associated them with. The student response was the Vikings invented the dragons.

Ofsted inspection rules

The normal expectations would have been the student’s response would not have been taken very seriously due to his age. However, this was not the case, Ofsted officials during the review of the school, cited the boy’s response at least three times. This further cemented the opinion that Ofsted officials are taking anecdotal evidence of learning more seriously than the actual learning.

The surprising fact about the school was that it was on the ascendance in academics. They had just had a steep rise for 11-year-olds in the statutory tests for maths and English. They were able to jump from 25 percent in 2017 to a score of 70 percent last year, surpassing England’s average. The school was also able to ensure four-year-olds who came to the reception class well below average had reached the national average by the end of the year.

Ofsted tests to rate the schools

This further put the Ofsted in the spotlight, with many arguing the criteria used to assess these schools is outdated. They disagreed with the way Ofsted was conducting the tests in a bid to rate the schools, which is a big deal.

One of the critics of this system is Michael Gosling, chief executive of Trinity multi-academy trust. He argues by saying,

This is a framework written over a middle-class dinner table, Ofsted seems to think that if you can talk coherently about your curriculum, then the results will look after themselves, but that is not going to happen in a school like ours, in areas of high deprivation.

While many argue that the system’s main emphasis was on grades that would end up destroying the UK education system, Ofsted has denied that claim and maintain this is the way the best system available.

Through its spokeswoman, Ofsted said the system was efficient enough to ensure the quality of education is maintained. She also highlighted that the system would help the less privileged students achieve better and quality education than the system through these Ofsted inspections.

 

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