Ofsted is measuring the wrong things
Michael Mercieca blogs for Huff Post UK
Last week saw the publication of the annual Ofsted report which looked at the outcomes of schools’ inspections in 2013-14. The report’s headline-grabber was that progress in secondary schools in the UK ‘has stalled’, with 29% of state secondary schools now rated as less than good.
“In the report, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said that there are now 170,000 pupils in inadequate secondary schools, about 70,000 more than two years ago. Sir Michael puts these problems down to a combination of, amongst other things, failing to build on prior learning, poor and inconsistent leadership, ineffective middle management, too much low-level disruption and poor careers advice. To raise standards, according to the report, schools “need to concentrate on the basics.
At Young Enterprise, we have a lot of respect for Sir Michael and his team. They do an excellent job. But Ofsted can only measure what the government tells them to measure and because of this, we believe that Ofsted is sadly still a long way off being able to judge the true effectiveness of our schools and their long-term impact on the lives of our children.
In my view, the assessment criteria laid out for Ofsted by the government are too blunt and much too narrow. They place much too much emphasis on the number of young people achieving certain grades, usually the number of students who achieve five A*-C grades at GCSE level, and no emphasis on job and life skills.