Teaching union wishes Ofsted an ‘unhappy birthday’ and renews calls for it to be replaced
Friday, May 6, 2022
As Ofsted turns 30 years old today (6 May), National Education Union members (NEU) are marking the occasion by delivering giant ‘unhappy’ birthday cards to the inspectorate’s seven regional offices.
The union is also delivering hundreds of handwritten messages from teachers and school leaders calling for the ‘toxic’ inspectorate to be replaced with a new system that is ‘supportive, effective and fair’.
In one note, a member said, ‘[Ofsted] created so much unnecessary anxiety and work. [It] drives teachers away from the profession, creating a deficit where we should have decades of experience and expertise.’
Another wrote, ‘Instead of nurturing and inspiring our pupils, we are forced to work within a toxic environment... Teachers are leaving the profession in droves.’
It comes after the NEU launched a petition calling for Ofsted to be replaced last month. The petition which urges the Government to establish a commission to develop a new system of support, reliable school inspection, has received more than 32,000 signatures.
Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said, ‘Schools and colleges will certainly not be celebrating 30 years of Ofsted. They have suffered for decades at the hands of an inspection system that is not fit for purpose.
‘Ofsted causes immense unnecessary workload, significantly contributes to the reason behind teachers leaving the profession and due to its limited remit, provides scant evidence of the true work undertaken by schools. Research shows that Ofsted is unfairly biased against schools and colleges in poor areas and is far more likely to slap them with an unjust negative judgement – even if they are improving.
'Ofsted is an unfair and unreliable inspectorate which must be replaced with a new system that is supportive, effective and fair.’