What is Ofsted doing wrong? The highly respected former Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Sir Mike Tomlinson, is clear – the scope of its remit and working practices are to blame. He tells the Guardian:
‘The question needs to be asked and answered as to whether Ofsted has the appropriate skills and experience to carry out its agenda. Inspection systems that rely too heavily on data and tick-box systems is not what we need. I worry we are heading that way.’
At best, some of Ofsted’s procedures are rather curious – schools often fail progress reports because their fences are not high enough. That is a preposterous criterion, but other practices are outright dangerous. Its insistence on forcing social workers to pass inspections via box ticking rather than concentrate on childcare had tragic consequences for baby Peter, and his death was not an isolated incident.