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NGA's position statement on Ofsted

school-environment woman walking up flight of stairs

Updated April 2023

NGA supports an independent inspection regime.

We supported the introduction of current Education Inspection Framework (EIF) in 2019 and its emphasis on a school’s curriculum and the quality of education pupils receive. We are concerned that the current EIF has also rendered governance less visible, albeit unintentionally and ask the inspectorate to explore how this can be rectified.

We support an independent review of inspection, with the aim of making it a more effective tool for school improvement.  We think a review should consider:

  • Changes that would help remove the culture of fear that exists around Ofsted inspections and the stakes attached to them.
  • Replacing the current grading system with a more constructive alternative that helps schools to improve
  • The effect of the inspection process on schools in disadvantaged communities.
  • Making inspection reports more informative and useful to a wider audience that includes governors and trustees.
  • How the role and responsibilities of governing boards can be given greater coverage in the inspection process.    

The inspection of multi academy trusts (MAT)

We think that MATs should be inspected as single organisations to help ensure that large-scale collaboration works for their pupils and communities they serve and it is clear how trusts improve. However, Ofsted in its present form does not have the capacity or expertise to carry out meaningful inspections of MATs, because the system is so heavily based on assessing the quality of education and leadership in a single school.

Find out more about Ofsted inspections