As Ofsted's new framework looms, teachers must demand better CPD

As the teaching unions’ conference season draws to a close, the call by the National Education Union to abolish Ofsted seems a legitimate way to dismantle the accountability framework that has driven the climate of fear for far too long. Sadly, systems rooted in and justified by distrust are part of a global phenomenon dominating all walks of life – though they are at their most dysfunctional in teaching. And, realistically, the inspectorate in some form is here to stay.But that doesn’t mean that accountability has to retain its current form.  Heads union ASCL has already made its views known on the inspection framework: on EBacc; on the new focus on curriculum; on Ofsted’s decision to ignore school-generated data; on whether there should be a two- or three-year key stage 3; and on a new focus on leaders taking more responsibility for workload while stopping their own spiralling out of control.Within such concerns lie genuine seeds of hope, of an obligation on the part of school leaders to reduce pointless admin – especially the mushrooming data collection. If Ofsted doesn’t value it, why produce it?  The vague but explicit expectation that leaders will take more seriously their responsibility for reducing teachers’ workload – and may be called to account for excesses – might just be sufficient motivation actually to implement the recommendations from the workload groups.

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