Ofsted struggling for credibility and must be overhauled, say councils

Ofsted is struggling for credibility between mothers and fathers and councils since of its erratic judgment and wants to be overhauled, in accordance to the Nearby Government Association in a stinging rebuke aimed at the schools and children’s providers inspectorate.

The LGA said it was “calling for an independent overview of the colleges watchdog’s operations, to understand what has gone wrong and to re-set up the credibility of an organisation which appears to have grow to be media-driven, rather than targeted on the experiences and outcomes of kids and youthful people”.

The criticism from the LGA, an umbrella group for 370 local authorities, comes after Ofsted has been buffeted by its failures to detect difficulties in Birmingham colleges and revelations of a falling-out with the Division for Schooling, whilst Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s chief inspector, this week stumbled into front-webpage headlines with feedback more than immigration that angered some in Whitehall.

David Simmonds, chair of the LGA’s kids and youthful men and women board, said that “mums and dads place their believe in in Ofsted’s ratings when they pick a school for their children”, but that believe in was being undermined by latest controversies, this kind of as allegations that an academy chain in Norfolk was given innovative warning of Ofsted inspections.

“You’ve received college headteachers, governors, parents who are saying: Ofsted has given a judgment about this school that says it is great or exceptional, but can I be assured that it genuinely is? That some thing is not going to come to light and suddenly in a month’s time my child’s school, that I’ve chosen because it is excellent, isn’t going to be judged inadequate?”, Simmonds explained.

In the situation of council children’s solutions departments, Simmonds mentioned local authorities had been having to invest hundreds of thousands of lbs following Ofsted’s recommendations, with out assurance or self-confidence that they have been doing the appropriate issue.

“We didn’t tolerate this kind of failure with the Financial Services Authority soon after the banking crisis. We need to have to be assured that Ofsted has the tools to do the work and that what it is doing is credible,” Simmonds said.

“Ofsted at times look to be responding a lot more to publicity rather than delivering consistent and aim judgments,” he said, listing current examples such as the Baby P situation in Haringey, the Trojan horse affair in Birmingham, and the kid protection scandal in Rotherham.

“Ofsted clearly has a good deal of expertise, but I think there is a massive query mark about whether the way the organisation is going at the minute is undertaking the business for the people it demands to do the organization for. Sir Michael is the guy who is in charge of it, so he wants to take charge of that improvement,” Simmonds said.

Wilshaw was appointed as her majesty’s chief inspector in January 2012, and his term runs until 2016.

In response, Ofsted stated in a statement that it had “raised the inspection bar” for the two schooling and care providers, and that practically eight in ten schools are now judged by it to be good or outstanding.

“Hundreds of 1000’s much more children are now benefiting from a decent training since of the challenge and help we have provided to previously underperforming colleges. But we also know that when you challenge the system to do far better, it will push back. Of course, Ofsted is not perfect and we have been open about the place we require to enhance our personal overall performance,” the statement stated.

Russell Pastime, standard secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, backed the LGA’s get in touch with for an independent review of Ofsted. “Inspection should be about specialist judgment and top quality feedback which prospects to improvement, or the enormous expenditure [on inspection] is wasted in what quantity to a public relations exercise,” Pastime explained.

Wilshaw created headlines right after what appeared to be off-the-cuff remarks on the influence of immigration. For the duration of an appearance on LBC’s radio talkback present on Wednesday, Wilshaw’s feedback advised that “an influx of youngsters from other countries” would consider up school assets, and he claimed that Ofsted was “producing reports” on the matter.

Ofsted on Thursday confirmed that there was “work in progress”, but mentioned it couldn’t verify a publication schedule or format.

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