Teachers urge boycott of new Ofsted regime

NUT conference delegates call on leadership to find a legal way to foil 'victimising' inspections

Teachers have called for a boycott of school inspections after hearing that suicide rates within the profession have risen as a result of the stress they cause.

Delegates to the National Union of Teachers' annual conference in Liverpool also called on the chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw to resign after what they described as "a stream of negative and inaccurate comments directed at teachers".

Union delegates voted to urge their executive to look at ways of carrying out a legal boycott of school inspections after being warned it could be in breach of the law.

Liam Conway, from Central Notts, told the conference: "Good teachers are literally dropping like flies because of Ofsted. The union must do more to work out a way to boycott inspections. It is time to stop hiding behind legal impediments."

Teachers are angry over a new framework that gives schools only a day's notice of inspections and insists that schools previously rated as "satisfactory" are labelled "requires improvement" with a report that begins with the statement "this is not a good school". They also oppose the practice of forcing schools with a poor inspection report to become academies under a private sponsor, often with the head being sacked.

Louise Regan, also from Central Notts, said figures showed an 80 per cent increase in the number of teachers committing suicide as a result of inspections in the past year, adding: "Teachers with young children and partners can become so stressed that they see no alternative but to take their own lives."

Toby Cadoux, of Lambeth council, said Sir Michael Wilshaw's constant attacks on teachers showed that he was "beyond redemption, and if he had any integrity he would have resigned already".

"We need to get rid of Wilshaw because he is an odious creature," he added.

However, Simon Horne, a delegate from Haringey in north London, said that teachers should welcome Sir Michael's insistence that inspectors look at progress data (how much children have improved in school) rather than crude exam results.

The motion calls on union leaders to conduct an urgent investigation into how teachers may be able to take legitimate action against school inspections, "including ideas such as a boycott".

Christine Blower, the general secretary of the NUT, said: "Teachers are now thoroughly fed up with an inspection body which does nothing for teacher morale or the improvement of education standards.

"At its head is a chief inspector who believes that if 'staff morale is at an all-time low' heads will know they are doing something right."

The boycott call came as a second union, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, voiced concerns over the "politicisation" of Ofsted inspections. Delegates accused Sir Michael and the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, of orchestrating a campaign of "victimisation" against teachers.

Ofsted said it was "inevitable" that changes would lead to "some pushback", adding: "Sir Michael Wilshaw has said from the outset any provision that is less than good is not acceptable. That is a tough message, especially for schools and colleges that have been coasting."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux ...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power