Since last week’s announcement of changes to OfSTED the focus has been on the decision not to re-employ a large number of inspectors on the new contracts. Understandably, those who have suffered from an inconsistently applied framework, poor understanding of pedagogy and inaccurate analysis of data have asked questions about the standing of their grades. The implication is that those inspectors who have passed the test are the best. I’m not convinced that the test used by OfSTED allows that conclusion to be drawn. The use of the test certainly did not address the problems inherent in the framework nor necessarily will the new one day inspections, although the more positive starting point is welcome.
The key point is that this change is not about improving inspection. As with many other policy developments, the new framework and reduction in number of inspectors is driven by the Treasury. The remaining inspectors may not be any better or worse than those let go and the framework may or may not be an improvement but we can be sure that money will be saved which is the point of the exercise.