NASUWT to campaign for abolition of Ofsted

Teachers' union ramps up opposition to current inspection regime, calling instead for a 'supportive framework'

Teachers' union ramps up opposition to current inspection regime, calling instead for a 'supportive framework'


The NASUWT teaching union will campaign for the abolition of Ofsted and its replacement with a “supportive framework”, after passing a motion at its conference.

Delegates voted to instruct the union’s national executive to campaign for the watchdog to be scrapped “in its current form”.

The motion also commits NASUWT to working with other unions to “call for an immediate freeze of all inspections in order that a full mental health impact assessment on teachers and school leaders be carried out”.

NASUWT has argued for years that inspection is not fit for purpose, but will renew its campaign for change following an outpouring of anger following reports of the death of Reading headteacher Ruth Perry.

Her family say she took her own life in January before the publication of an inspection report at Caversham Primary School that downgraded her school from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’. They blame pressure from the Ofsted process for her death.

The motion passed at NASUWT conference in Glasgow this morning acknowledged “that the perceived demands of Ofsted are the major contributor to the excessive workload and bureaucracy that blights the lives of teachers”.

‘Genuine and deep-seated fear’

It comes after the National Education Union, which has repeatedly called for Ofsted to be scrapped, passed a motion calling on heads to withdraw from working as inspectors.

Martin Hudson, a primary school teacher from Newcastle who moved the motion, warned there was a “genuine and deep-seated fear” of the body among teachers, who faced “widespread anxiety, stress and ill health caused by looming Ofsted inspections”.

“Education today is about monitoring, accountability and an obsession with measuring the unmeasurable.

“We know as teachers and trade unionists that obsessive monitoring and placing subjective one-word judgments on teachers and schools has never improved standards and never will.

“For the best interests of teachers, for the health and well-being of teachers, Ofsted must go.”

Hank Roberts, an activist from Brent, said unions had been “condemning it regularly”.

“Clearly this is not enough. They don’t give a stuff what you think. What they care about is what you do, and we have to do a lot more.”

Another delegrate, Gherie Weldeyesus, added: “Let’s end this reign of terror, abolish Ofsted.”

Ofsted was approached for comment.

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