Delegates rejected the idea that Ofsted was an impartial inspection system aimed at improving teaching. Many saw it as a tool to force through privatisation.
John Reddiford from north Somerset said, “The Tories’ philosophy that children learn in measurable bite-size chunks is wrong—and it’s not wrong by accident. It is used to justify penalising us, and then privatising us.”
Herbert Bukari told the conference, “They are failing schools so the vultures can swallow them up to make profits. We cannot be defensive about Ofsted—we have to go on the offensive.”
Teachers talked of the increased pressure that Ofsted inspections and increased observations created. Paul Vernell from Bristol described increased monitoring of teachers as “a very sharp knife” used to “bully” teachers.
Pippa Dowswell from Waltham Forest in north London said the way to fight Ofsted was “to ballot for industrial action in schools”. She added, “Strikes are the way to fight it.”