Ofsted must focus on how 'well rounded' pupils are and not just exam results, says CBI chief

John Cridland said the watchdog needs a radical shift in its approach

Richard Garner
Tuesday 09 June 2015 15:40
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The CBI's director general has previously criticised schools for becoming 'exam factories' to jump through hoops
The CBI's director general has previously criticised schools for becoming 'exam factories' to jump through hoops

Inspections should concentrate on whether schools are producing “well rounded young people” rather than just exam results, the head of Britain’s business community has said.

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, told an audience of academics at Brunel University that education standards watchdog Ofsted needed to make a radical shift to its inspection framework.

“Changing the inspection framework to ensure an equal focus on how schools are supporting the development of key attitudes and behaviour as on the more traditional academic measures would be a good first step in producing the well rounded young people business needs,” he said.

He called for a more “light touch” inspection regime which would allow teachers “to deliver the innovative education that will inspire and engage young people” - rather than force them to concentrate on getting pupils to pass tests and exams.

He has been critical in the past of how too many schools have become “exam factories” - neglecting the kind of broader curriculum which would help develop pupils’ character, self-confidence and communication skills. His thoughts have been echoed by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan who promised more of an emphasis on character building in schools if Conservatives won the election.

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