Schools operating 'mocksteds' face strike threat

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Schools that operate so-called “mocksteds” or whose teachers face “excessive accountability” could face local strike action after a motion was passed unanimously by members of the National Union of Teachers.

The union’s annual conference in Harrogate heard a number of passionate and angry speeches from teachers describing the negative impact that the fear of Ofsted is having on schools.

A motion before delegates called on the union to campaign for the abolition of Ofsted and to carry out research into its impact on children’s education, pedagogy and curriculum.

It also called on the union to support school groups “in escalating to strike action” if teachers face mock Ofsted inspections – known as “mocksteds” – in their schools, or if they have “excessive accountability imposed on them”.

The motion, which was passed by delegates, added: “Conference condemns the notion, held by many school leaders, that schools should be ‘Ofsted-ready’ at all times. 

“This is a bullying tactic and is not in the best interests of schools and substantially increases the workload of teachers.

“Ofsted is a highly stressful and disruptive means of school evaluation which does nothing to support school improvement, while creating a significant additional and unsustainable workload for teachers.”

After the vote, Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said: “Ofsted has lost the trust of the profession it purports to serve. Ofsted is a major cause of excessive and unsustainable workload for teachers and a reason for many leaving the profession.

“Teachers understand the need for accountability but overwhelming evidence from research and practice demonstrates that evaluation by schools themselves must be at the centre of school inspection and support.

“For too long, schools and teachers have been subjected to a brutal inspection system which has impacted on the mental health and wellbeing of teachers while doing nothing for the educational experience of pupils.

“Ofsted should be abolished and replaced by a new model of school accountability which is independent and perceived to be so, and has been developed in conjunction with the teaching profession.”

  


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