Headlines: April 9th, 2009

A new independent survey has found that a big majority of teachers believe school inspections help them set future priorities. The study by the National Foundation for Educational Research also reveals that teachers support the idea of pupils’ views being part of the inspection process.

The study, which is published today, found that almost 90 per cent of teachers believed Ofsted inspections helps their schools set priorities and 84 per cent believed it was important that their lessons were observed by inspectors. About the same proportion thought inspection led to improvements in teaching and learning and those taking part in the survey were overwhelmingly in favour of pupils being consulted as part of inspection and being told about the inspectors’ findings.

Christine Gilbert, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, said she was pleased with the level of support from teachers. “Few organisations could hope for such support for their work. However, we know we must continue to improve. The new school inspection arrangements we are introducing from September 2009 will enable us to make even more of a difference,” she said. The new inspections will include more observation of lessons and more consultation with pupils and parents.

The Foundation’s research follows recent findings from an Ipsos MORI survey which showed more than ninety per cent of parents supported school inspections. Ofsted said its own surveys after inspections also showed strong support for its work among headteachers.