Does Ofsted have a negative impact on staff effectiveness?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on December 11, 2014

New survey results say Ofsted has negative impact on staff effectiveness and well-being

Just 10% of teachers say that inspections make a positive difference to their own performance, according to new survey.

More than 800 teachers took part in the questionnaire carried out on behalf of the Teacher Support Network, which also showed that:

  • 93% of teachers feel that inspections contribute to stress

  • 88% have developed symptoms of anxiety in advance of an inspector's visit

  • More than 90% of teachers say that school inspections make no difference to pupils' academic results

Worryingly, one of the survey's respondents, a 54-year-old Secondary School teacher from Lincolnshire, said that she ended up leaving her full-time job because of the stress of inspections and class observations.

"Constant monitoring made me get out of teaching on a permanent contract two years ago,” she said.“ There are huge demands on producing progress reports and most schools now expect you to log homework. The admin tasks are so time consuming; it’s all for show.

I’m a supply teacher so I don’t feel as much pressure now but other teachers feel vulnerable if they haven’t done all the marking or procedures in the right way. Everyone wants to be seen to be doing your best but teachers don’t have enough time to do everything.

In some ways inspections do make you want to do things right, but it’s either at the expense of your family time or lesson time."

Where do we go from here?motivating teachers with ideas

Widely held beliefs of school staff who participated in the survey said the following alterations would improve their well-being, and in turn their effectiveness:

  • 72% favoured greater assessment of staff well-being

  • 53% would benefit from more feedback on how to improve

  • 51% called for inspections to be based on peer/mentor assessment

The results of the survey highlight the need for a more considerate approach to inspections that include more detailed feedback and a focus on staff well-being.

But, it's certainly not all doom and gloom.

The 1000+ schools we work with are developing and building confidence in their staff through meaningful reflection, peer observation and more effective feedback.

"I'm quite an anxious person and every time a formal observation came around I knew that I wasn't showing my best practice. By using IRIS Connect on a weekly basis and sharing my lessons I no longer get myself in such a state and can demonstrate how capable I really am."

Bianca Taylor, Nursery Teacher

Find out more about how IRIS Connect is impacting on teachers

Read the full survey here

Find out more about the latest Ofsted framework changes

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