Ofsted

Ofsted orders review into wiped evidence claims

Schools Week revealed how technical glitches force inspectors to re-record inspection evidence, sometimes from memory

Schools Week revealed how technical glitches force inspectors to re-record inspection evidence, sometimes from memory

Ofsted chief Sir Martyn Oliver has ordered a “rapid review” of the inspectorate’s system for recording inspection evidence after Schools Week revealed long-standing issues with data being wiped.

On Friday, we revealed how the electronic evidence gathering (EEG) system has for years suffered glitches that force inspectors to re-record their findings, sometimes from memory after a visit has ended.

Sir Martyn Oliver
Sir Martyn Oliver

Multiple current and former inspectors described situations in which their screen “froze” and evidence “disappeared” in front of their eyes during visits. Others discovered evidence had been wiped upon returning to their hotel room.

Following our story, the Observer also covered the problems, as well as claims inspectors had been forced to “make up” evidence after the system crashed.

An Ofsted spokesperson told Schools Week it had seen “nothing to support the claim that evidence has been ‘made up’ – something that would never be tolerated”.

But they added: “Sir Martyn is initiating a rapid review to satisfy himself that the EEG and the guidance to inspectors is robust. If schools or inspectors have any concerns, we would want to hear about them directly, so we can respond appropriately.”

‘Blame turned back on inspectors’

Current and former inspectors told Schools Week that Ofsted was repeatedly warned about the problems, but initially refused to accept there was something wrong and “blame turned back on the individual inspectors”.

Ofsted told Schools Week it was “aware that on some occasions inspectors can have issues with the EEG, for example connecting to WiFI due to the provider they are in or to the system itself”.

But they said these issues were “more frequent when the system was first introduced” and inspectors have been “instructed to use other means to record their evidence in these circumstances”. 

The watchdog also said it believed there had “only been a very small number of instances since 2019 where we have declared an inspection incomplete as a result of a technical issue”. This was said to potentially be as low as one or two.

In those instances, “we have then returned to the school to collect more evidence to ensure the judgement is secure”, the watchdog said.

Latest education roles from

Internal Quality Assurance Employability and Distance Learning

Internal Quality Assurance Employability and Distance Learning

Capital City College Group

Distance Learning Tutor

Distance Learning Tutor

Capital City College Group

Event Support Team Leader

Event Support Team Leader

MidKent College

E-Sport Technician

E-Sport Technician

MidKent College

Digital Technician

Digital Technician

MidKent College

Student Welfare Officer

Student Welfare Officer

MidKent College

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

Navigating NPQ Funding Cuts: Discover Leader Apprenticeships with NPQs

Recent cuts to NPQ funding, as reported by Schools Week, mean 14,000 schools previously eligible for scholarships now face...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

How do you tackle the MIS dilemma?

With good planning, attention to detail, and clear communication, switching MIS can be a smooth and straightforward process, but...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Ofsted

Councils ‘hamstrung’ from supporting school leaders, review claims

But Ruth Perry's sister criticises council review for 'failing to ask key questions'

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Ofsted ‘not fit for purpose’, finds ‘alternative big listen’

Organisers of sector-led survey say inspectorate facing ‘existential crisis’

Freddie Whittaker
Ofsted

ASCL: Base Ofsted report cards on ‘slim set of statutory standards’

The heads' union sets out key principles of how Labour's proposed report card should work if they win next...

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

‘Don’t scapegoat leaders over bad Ofsteds’, says top trust boss

United Learning chief's blueprint for Ofsted reform also calls for end of ungraded inspections and 'simplified' primary visits

Lucas Cumiskey

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *