I have been following, with great interest, news articles focusing on the recent Ofsted inspections at ‘Cramlington Learning Village’ and the subsequent reactions. I do not claim to have any inside knowledge regarding the situation at this school, but as a former teacher, I do find it surprising that a school once rated outstanding in every area tested can decline so dramatically in a short period of time.
This case once again raises the question of whether the methods of Ofsted inspections are appropriate and furthermore if inspectors are looking for the right things; especially when it comes to school leadership and management practices
We have all heard the reports of good schools and teachers being penalised for not being up to date with some paperwork or not precisely ticking a box on the inspectors’ list whilst in other inspections very serious issues slip through the cracks.
Whilst I stress that there may be underlying issues in this inspection that I am unaware of, this may be a good opportunity to once again open the debate regarding how our schools are administered and examined. We need to get into a position where we have widespread faith in both our schools, those running them and those in charge of inspecting them.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East