Teachers hit back at Ofsted boss’s claims

Discipline: Simon Jones, NUT executive member
Discipline: Simon Jones, NUT executive member
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Teachers, union leaders and support groups from across Lancashire have spoken out about the annual Ofsted Report.

In his annual report, chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said that secondary schools have “stalled”.

He said 170,000 pupils were being taught in inadequate secondary schools, about 70,000 more than two years ago, and blamed poor leadership and lack of discipline.

Despite the warnings, the number of both primary and secondary schools graded good and outstanding are at record high levels.

In Lancashire more than 80 per cent of schools are good or outstanding with some graded satisfactorily.

Teachers said changes to inspection criteria and the curriculum, as well as increased workload, have not helped schools.

Simon Jones, Lancashire’s national executive member for the National Union of Teachers, said: “Any pupil behaviour which disrupts or impacts on the learning of other pupils is unacceptable and undermines the ability of teachers to teach.

“The way to address it, however, is not through yet more threats from Ofsted.

“Class size, inappropriate curriculum, pressure to meet targets and the need to keep up with new initiatives all has an impact on behaviour.”

He added: “Pupils who are positively engaged in learning are less likely to display inappropriate behaviour.

“Any curriculum should contain a mix of academic and vocational subjects in order to meet the needs of all pupils.”

A spokesman for the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said: “Ofsted has made significant changes to its inspection system in recent years which need to be borne in mind when drawing any conclusions.

“Any conclusions drawn about the quality of the education system, based on the findings of inspections carried out over the past year, have to be treated with some degree of caution.

“Ofsted appears to be focusing its attention to an increasing extent on the quality of leadership and management in schools.

“However, the consequence is that this pressure is leading too many school managements to impose workload-intensive and punitive requirements on teachers which are diverting them from focusing on the needs of pupils, and do nothing to raise standards.”