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9 February 2012
Voice: the union for education professionals backlash against the re-examining of "outstanding" schools.
Commenting on news that the Chief Inspector of Schools has confirmed that a quarter of schools rated ‘outstanding’ are to be re-examined because their teaching supposedly did not reach the highest standard, Philip Parkin, General Secretary of Voice: the union for education professionals, said:
“The Chief Inspector seems to be on an ego trip to prove how tough he is and that he can out-Woodhead Chris Woodhead.
“Re-examining ‘outstanding’ schools undermines completely the little credibility Ofsted had with teachers. It also undermines his own inspectors. Sir Michael clearly doesn’t trust their judgement.
“As I’ve said before, Sir Michael Wilshaw seems to want to threaten schools rather than work with them.
“He seems to have adopted as a mission statement his strange and disturbing comment that ‘if anyone says to you that “staff morale is at an all-time low” you will know you are doing something right’. Low staff morale is something that Ofsted should express concerns about rather than encourage.
“Such a Big Brother approach is not the way to get the best out of people. This demonstrates a distrust of, and disrespect for, the teaching profession and signals that the inspection regime has become too overbearing and needs to be reviewed and restructured to make it much more supportive and advisory.
“Ofsted inspections are stressful at the best of times, but it would be intolerable to work under the constant and relentless stress of anticipating a no-notice inspection at any moment.”