Teachers in England,Wales and Northern Ireland (soon to be launched) will be able to rate and inspect the inspectors who make judgements about schools, which can have a major impact on how the school is viewed.
Schools in England, inspected by OfSTED, and counterparts in Wales, inspected by Estyn have little say in the comments made about them in reports, with little accountability on the standard of inspections as well as the quality of the inspectors making the judgements.
Launched by the NASUWT teaching union, information will be gathered and then analysed to identify where there are recurring problems with particular inspection teams or lead inspectors, to assess the consistency of judgements made and to check whether the inspectors are conforming to their own advice.
The union promises that a system to respond to ETI inspections in Northern Ireland will be launched shortly.
Speaking on the NASUWT website, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The online tool we have launched today is a major step in the strong resistance which now needs to be mounted against punitive accountability.
“It will empower teachers and school leaders to take back some professional control.
“Teachers are not afraid of inspection. They understand that working in a public service funded by billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money means that there has to be a strong accountability framework.
“However, teachers and schools must be held to account for the right things.
“The accountability system must be fit for purpose and secure public trust and confidence.
“Ofsted meets none of those criteria and disappointingly inspection systems in other parts of the UK are emulating this flawed model.
“The Ofsted brand is now seriously tainted. It is increasingly seen, not as an independent regulator, acting in the public interest, holding government to account, but the highly politicised agent of the Secretary of State, enforcing Coalition education policies in schools.
“But one of its worst features is the climate of fear it has created across all schools. disempowering teachers and school leaders and forcing practices which meet the needs of Ofsted, rather than the needs of children and young people.”