Anger over 'copy and paste' Ofsted school inspections
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Friday 08 June 2012
Education standards watchdog Ofsted is facing allegations of conducting "cut and paste" inspections after identical sentences and phrases were used in two reports on failing schools.
Both schools – Belvedere Junior in Bexley, south-east London, and Malmesbury Primary in Tower Hamlets, east London – were visited by the same lead inspectors.
In both cases, the report said: "Some teachers do not plan learning for pupils at their different levels of ability and marking is not leading to improvement."
This is just one of a number of sentences that were repeated verbatim or included with just one or two words that were different, the Times Educational Supplement discloses today.
In another section of the reports, each submission stated "the majority of parents and carers are positive about how well the school develops their children's skills in reading writing and mathematics" while stating the inspectors disagreed with them.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said he had heard anecdotal accounts of similar "cut and paste" reports, adding that such an approach was "not acceptable given that the fate of the school rests on what is written".
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