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Ofsted “cut and paste” inspection reports

8 June 2012

Today, the TES reported that Ofsted inspectors “cut and paste” key sentences between inspection reports. Two schools were placed in special measures after receiving reports that contained some identical phrases.

In the current educational landscape, increased importance is being placed on the outcome of Ofsted inspections. As the capacity of local authorities to monitor schools and academies diminishes, Ofsted inspections are often the only way to determine when a school is failing.

There are often far- reaching consequences of a school being put in special measures, from “forced academisation” to reputational damage. Ofsted are expected to take care to ensure they give a fair and accurate assessment of the school in the report; if nothing else, to enable the school to determine where they can improve.

With their reputation already suffering as a result of recent reports about the effectiveness of inspectors, Ofsted need to ensure that they are objective when inspecting schools and that the inspection doesn’t become a “tick box” exercise with far reaching consequences.

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