Teachers needing counselling after ‘brutal’ Ofsted inspections

As reported by the Independent, teachers who have experienced the new Ofsted inspections have needed counselling afterwards due to the watchdog’s ‘brutal’ approach, school leaders have warned

One teacher compared being questioned by inspectors to an interview with famously tenacious BBC journalist Andrew Neil, according to a report from the National Association of Head Teachers.

Ofsted’s inspection regime could undermine the government’s efforts to improve the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, the union warned. The watchdog’s new inspection framework, introduced in September, focuses more on the quality of a school’s curriculum rather than exam results but has come under fire from school bosses.

An award-winning headteacher resigned last month after she said an Ofsted inspection last term ‘extinguished’ her passion for the job and left her feeling ‘powerless’. The negative impact on teachers has risen under Ofsted’s new inspections, the report from the NAHT says.

Staff have lost breaks and lunchtimes and have been forced to stay late after school in order to satisfy the watchdog’s demands. Some inspection activity continued as late as 9pm, the report suggests.

It says: “The experience of inspection is regularly described by school leaders and their staff as ‘brutal’. Some school leaders have been barred from accompanying and supporting classroom teachers and subject co-ordinators in interviews with inspectors.

“School leaders report that the confidence of recently qualified and experienced teachers who co-ordinate subjects has been shattered, necessitating the counselling of staff.”

Ofsted has announced that schools will get an extra year to bring their curriculum into line with the new inspection framework following criticism from school leaders.

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