Ofsted inspections should be abandoned in favour of a broader approach that takes into account the views of teachers, pupils and parents, the Demos think-tank has argued.
The report, Detoxifying School Accountability , says that the current system is forcing heads and teachers to prioritise achieving targets above students’ education.
An annual ‘multi-perspective’ inspection, informed by data collected from those who work at and use a school, would be a more rigorous and effective means of assessing its performance than a short visit from an external inspection team.
The author of the report James Park said: ‘For too long, teachers and school leaders have been labouring in a toxic system, striving to meet targets at the expense of a good quality education for their students. International evidence shows that an education system which trusts professionals is more likely to succeed, yet policy over the past 20 years has systematically undermined trust.
‘A system where all interested parties – leaders, teachers, students, parents and inspectors – have a say would be a step in the right direction. It would represent a crucial move away from a target-obsessed culture to a more balanced, trusting and effective education system.’
Anything that gets us away from the target-obsessions we are lumbered with at the moment has should be given serious consideration, say I.