Proposed reforms from both Ofsted and the government seem to be positive steps forward against counter-productive, draconian and punitive school accountability, says Geoff Barton – yet the problems of Progress 8 remain...

“Accountability”. It’s an ugly word and at some point in our recent past we let it become something that was done to us by government and its agencies, rather than an evaluative mirror we held up to ourselves.

So what is accountability? What does it mean for schools and colleges? Now is a good time to ask because we appear, at last, to be turning a corner in terms of how schools are judged.

We have a new inspection framework from Ofsted which is currently out for consultation. Meanwhile, the Department for Education (DfE) plans to scrap the “floor” and “coasting” standards from the school performance tables.

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