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


Memorandum from the Brent Teachers Association (OFS 17)

  Some time ago I produced a document when our school, Copland Community School and Technology Centre, faced its first inspection. Please find a copy enclosed for your consideration[9]. Some of the details are now irrelevant, in essence however, the objections are the same. Even though our school did well in its first inspection and excellently in our second (our Headteacher was knighted), the staff room view of the Ofsted system is unanimously anti.

  Like "Railtrack", "Ofsted" is a losing brand name that can never recover or regain a good name with the profession. The stress caused by Ofsted has been well documented—levels of sickness rise dramatically after an Ofsted inspection. Ways forward are usually the same as have already been identified in the school development plan so rarely are new proposals of raising levels of achievement suggested. It should be disbanded and a new system put in its place, based on proper consultation with teachers, teacher unions and education professionals.

  It is a misunderstanding to believe that teachers and teacher unions do not believe in or want a rigorous inspection system. However, it must be fair, not terrorising, open and transparent and aim to promote self-evaluation. This might help to build teacher morale and increase the numbers not only wanting to teach, but, more importantly in the current teacher shortage crisis, wanting to remain in the profession.

Hank Roberts

Brent Teachers Association Secretary (NUT)

Brent Branch Secretary (ATL)

Organising Secretary Professional Unity 2000

November 2001

9   Not printed. Back

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