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Over 50% of teachers do not consider Ofsted to act as a reliable and trusted arbiter of standards across schools in England

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The creation of the Teaching Regulation Agency - What does this mean for teachers?

Ofsted have released the 2018 report, outlining their findings from the annual teacher attitude survey. Despite improvements in the perceptions of teachers in relation to Ofsted, the results still show a lack of confidence amongst the profession in relation to their regulator.

The findings of the report were based on online surveys completed by 1,002 teachers working in primary and secondary schools, between 14th and 26th March 2018. Ofsted set out that the objective of the study was “to provide Ofsted with robust and timely evidence… to inform the development of the organisation’s strategy and priorities”. The report is split into three sections: myth-busting, perceptions of Ofsted, and, communications with teachers.

The perceptions of Ofsted section is particularly interesting, with the report finding that 58% of teachers considered their own personal experience of inspections as most likely to shape their views of Ofsted, followed by the general reputation the organisation has gained which was at 24%.

When considering that 58% of teachers rely on their own personal experiences of inspections when shaping their views, the finding that 51% of teachers strongly or slightly disagree that Ofsted acts as a reliable and trusted arbiter of standards across schools is telling. The longer a teacher has been in the profession, the more likely they are to disagree with this statement. However, this is an improvement on last year’s figures, whereby 60% of teachers strongly or slightly disagreed with this statement.

It is clear that Ofsted still have some way to go in improving confidence amongst the profession, but the organisation’s drive to get out information to schools and teachers about their role and aims, as well as communicating the truths and myths around inspections does seem to be having some effect, when comparing the results of 2017’s survey to that of 2018’s.

It is vitally important that providers seek specialist legal advice and assistance where they are dissatisfied with an inspection outcome, or Ofsted are seeking to take enforcement action. Often there are very short timeframes to appeal or challenge action taken by Ofsted, but assistance from specialist lawyers at a very early stage can increase the likelihood of preventing further enforcement action being taken.  If you are a provider and you need advice or representation in relation to Ofsted inspections, enforcement action or an appeal to the first-tier tribunal, we have a dedicated team of specialist lawyers who are hand to assist you. Call us on 01616 966 229.