Ofsted lesson judgements? We might as well flip a coin

Inspectors who cannot analyse data, unreliable lesson judgements, and unaccountable inspection teams – a report this week has delivered a damning verdict on Ofsted inspections. Pete Henshaw takes an in-depth look at the findings.


You would be better off flipping a coin to judge the quality of a lesson than listening to the views of an Ofsted inspector, it was claimed this week.

A far-reaching report into the future of England’s schools inspectorate has issued a damning verdict on both the quality of school inspectors and the reliability of lesson observation judgements.

The study, by the think-tank Policy Exchange, says that Ofsted should stop observing lessons during school inspections and should “abolish or radically reduce” the number of additional inspectors – those contracted to private outsourcing companies.

It claims that many inspectors lack the necessary skills to make a fair judgement of schools – especially the ability to analyse data.

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