Most teachers do not accept that Ofsted is ‘reliable and trusted’ when it comes to inspecting school standards, a survey has revealed.

Indeed, the findings highlight that the longer a teacher has been working in the profession, the less likely they are to believe or think that Ofsted is reliable.

The annual survey of teachers found that 54% of respondents believed that having Ofsted inspectors in their school means creating lots of unnecessary work.

More than 1,000 teachers were surveyed

More than 1,000 teachers were surveyed and 51% of them said they ‘strongly or slightly disagree’ that Ofsted is a trusted and reliable arbiter of school standards in all types of England’s schools.

Of those teachers in their first year as NQTs, just 17% disagreed with the statement that Ofsted was reliable and trusted.

For those who have been teachers for up to six years, the proportion rose to 47% and for those who have worked in the profession for seven to 15 years, it’s 53%.

However, for teachers who have been working for 16 years or more, it is 58%.

An improvement on last year’s survey

Despite the overall figure of 51%, this is still an improvement on last year’s survey, when 60% of teachers said they did not accept that the inspectorate was a reliable and trusted arbiter of school standards.

A spokeswoman for Ofsted said: “Ensuring that we improve the reliability and validity of our inspections is central to our five-year strategy.

“We are pleased the survey generally shows an improvement in teachers’ attitudes in understanding Ofsted and there’s always more to do. We will use the survey’s information to help us continue improving inspection practice.”

Ofsted’s new education framework

The spokeswoman pointed out that the development of Ofsted’s new education framework in the coming year will be a big step forward in helping teachers’ attitudes and ensure inspections focus on the substance of the education being delivered and tackling issues that cause unnecessary workload.

When the survey questioned teachers about workload, 54% said an inspection causes unnecessary work, 25% said some extra work was manageable and 16% said the inspection would see them carry on with their job as normal.

The survey also highlighted that 3% of participants said they were looking forwards to an Ofsted inspection to demonstrate how good their school is.

The survey also delivers some positives for inspectors with 62% saying that the Ofsted judgement of their school had been fair and accurate, which is a slight improvement on last year’s figure of 57%.


More information

The annual survey on the awareness and perceptions of Ofsted is available on the website.