Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 5

Memorandum from Professor Audrey Osler, University of Leicester (SQE 05)

OFSTED SCHOOL INSPECTIONS AND RACE EQUALITY

  1.  The 1999-2000 Annual Report of HMCI has a stronger race equality focus than the 1998-99 report. In particular, it reports on EMAG and on the need for schools to address racial harassment. It also identifies which ethnic minority communities are achieving at less than "satisfactory levels of attainment". However, there is little reported on the contributions of the various curriculum subjects to the goal of racial equality. It would be interesting to ascertain whether OFSTED inspections are actually reporting on this.

  2.  Although schools are now asked to report on the number of exclusions by ethnic group over the past 12 months the Annual Report does not address this issue in depth.

  3.  It remains a concern that in the parents' pre-inspection questionnaire (see page 31 of the Report) that there is reference to a wide range of issues but parents are not routinely asked about equality issues. (They are asked about the quality of school management but HMCI does not report on this.)

  4.  The Annual Report of HMCI has a number of omissions. In particular, it does not address race equality issues in special schools, where many of the most vulnerable pupils are educated. We are not told what percentage of reports fail to mention race equality concerns, nor are we provided with details on the number of schools which fail to monitor attainment by ethnicity. We do however, learn from the report that about one third of LEAs do not have this data (page 37 of the Report, paragraph 64).

Professor Audrey Osler

March 2001


 
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