As a disillusioned former English teacher, I miss talking to teenagers about books. But I also rejoice in my freedom from the dreaded Ofsted. At first glance, Ofsted’s new inspection framework might promise a breath of fresh air to teachers suffocating under a pile of data. Assessment will in future be judged as part of the more open ‘quality of education’ area, rather than being a focus in its own right.
But a closer read reveals that Ofsted is fundamentally out of touch. ‘Behaviour and attitudes’ will also become one of the four areas judged. Schools will be encouraged to get ‘tough’ on disruptive students. In June last year, the head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, outlined her approach: ‘I think it’s entirely appropriate to use sanctions, such as writing lines, community service in the school grounds like picking up litter, and school detentions.