Ofsted 'intimidation' risks exodus of headteachers, survey warns
Up to 40 per cent of experienced heads say they are planning to leave the profession early.
Four out of 10 headteachers say they are planning to leave the profession early because of "a culture of intimidation" being created by Ofsted, the education standards watchdog.
Headteachers say Ofsted's rhetoric has caused staff morale to plummet – even in schools rated "good" or "outstanding" by inspectors.
The findings, in a report out today, suggest a crisis of morale could jeopardise many of Education Secretary Michael Gove's reforms, particularly if there is an exodus from the profession.
Mr Gove has always insisted that the key to raising standards is to have strong leadership in schools. In a poll of more than 2,000 members by the National Association of Head Teachers, nearly 40 per cent said they were planning to leave the profession early because they felt "discouraged" by the direction Ofsted was taking. Almost all (98 per cent) said they believed Ofsted judgements were subject to political interference. Since Sir Michael Wilshaw took over as chief schools inspector in January, he has put forward plans for "no notice" inspections, scrapping the grading of schools as "satisfactory" and instead calling them "requiring improvement" and stripping schools of their "outstanding" status if teaching standards are not also "outstanding".
New arrangements for inspections concentrate on exam results, behaviour and teaching quality. The focus on results, say heads, makes it more difficult for disadvantaged schools to reach the highest grades.
Read more ... (The Independent - 4 May)