Reform of school inspection systems
New research from the London School of Economics shows that schools that failed their Ofsted inspections went on to improve their test scores.
A lecturer at the University of Sussex, Mr Iftikhar Hussain , said that schools showed “significant improvements” in test scores on average after being failed by Ofsted.
He said that the results in primary schools were not improved by “gaming the system” , a technique where excluding low performing or ability students brings up an average score on SATs tests.
Mr Hussain stated: “The critical issue is whether inspection ratings summarise information about underlying school quality that is not already available in the public sphere.
“My findings demonstrate that on this measure, inspectors appear to be doing a reasonable job.”
The system of inspections in England is currently being reshapen with a move towards ‘surprise’ inspections and more of the inspections being carried out through classroom observation.
Schools will soon be either ‘outstanding’, ‘good’ or ‘requires improvement’ according to the new rating system.
Instead of the inspection of 27 different categories, inspectors will check four main areas when they visit an educational institution.
In the past, Head teachers and teachers have complained that Ofsted inspections do not show accurately how well a school is doing.
Head teachers specifically claimed that Ofsted inspectors rely too much on tests and exam results in their inspections.
Currently, staff and external examiners check universities both internally and externally and the Higher Education Funding Council is now considering spot checks on universities.
A senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham said that he thought that too much regulation in universities would be a bad thing but that he “wouldn’t mind inspections” in his own lectures as “at least there would be some independent checks”.
One Sussex student said: “If this means that schools will have to step up their game and have everything in order all the time, I’m all for it!”