Support schools, don’t catch them out - MP urges Ofsted to reform inspections

March 24, 2023 10:50 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has challenged Ofsted to change how they inspect schools, urging them to remove a "culture of inquisition and blame".

This week, Tim met with Ofsted's Regional Director for the North West, Andrew Cook, to discuss the challenges facing schools and how the regulator can better support schools, teachers, children and parents.

It comes in light of the tragic death of headteacher Ruth Perry who took her own life while waiting for a report that downgraded her school.

Speaking after the meeting, Tim said: "Our fantastic local schools here in Cumbria face huge challenges, whether it's helping children catch up with the learning they lost during the pandemic, or dealing with soaring energy costs and cuts to their budget.

"The role of Ofsted must be about supporting these schools and helping them to improve - not catching them out.

"The tragic death of Ruth Perry is heartbreaking. I know that we cannot be sure of what is in someone else's mind in such appalling circumstances, but surely it has to be a wake up call for us to reform the process so that fair professional scrutiny, coaching and improvement replaces a culture of inquisition and blame.

"I'm really grateful to Andrew Cook from Ofsted for his time and for listening to my concerns about the inspections process. I will continue to stand up for our schools so they can deliver the best results for children."