NUT calls for Ofsted to be scrapped

7 Apr 15

Teachers have lost confidence in the work of schools watchdog Ofsted and it should be replaced with a new regulator that can win the trust of the profession, the National Union of Teachers has said.

Speaking after the union’s annual conference in Harrogate passed a motion calling for the abolition of the inspectorate, general secretary Christine Blower highlighted that just 15% of teachers polled said Ofsted inspections made a positive contribution to school improvement. Only 12% of teachers agreed that they provided a reliable measure of school performance, she added.

‘Ofsted is a major cause of excessive and unsustainable workload for teachers and a reason for many leaving the profession,’ Blower added.

‘Teachers understand the need for accountability but overwhelming evidence from research and practice demonstrates that evaluation by schools themselves must be at the centre of school inspection and support.’

Blower said that the current inspection regime was ‘brutal’ for teachers and did not help to improve the educational experience of pupils.

‘Ofsted should be abolished and replaced by a new model of school accountability which is independent and perceived to be so and has been developed in conjunction with the teaching profession.’

Also at the conference, the union pledged to continue its campaign against the government’s reforms to the teachers pension scheme, which come into effect this month.

Blower said the union did not accept that teachers should have to pay more for their pensions while also working up to the state retirement age.

‘We call for an independent review of the appropriate retirement age for teachers that takes account of the demands of the job. The NUT does not think that most teachers can work at full efficiency to age 68 and beyond if the state pension age rises.

‘Our demand is that all supply teachers are given access to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Currently teachers employed by agencies or notionally self-employed are excluded by rule from the TPS. This is a scandal which will lead to impoverished retirement for supply teachers.’

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