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Commenting on Ofsted's announcement today on changes to inspection, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT - The Teachers' Union, said:
"It is clear that these changes are being brought forward in response to the tragic death of Ruth Perry following the inspection of Caversham Primary School. However, this tragedy has prompted calls for a much wider debate about the future of inspection that goes far beyond the matters addressed in the proposals announced today.
"We will need to see whether the limited changes that Ofsted has set out will address our longstanding concerns about the inspection of safeguarding and the inadequacy of Ofsted's complaints process.
"We have been calling for some time for reform to Ofsted’s complaints system. It needs to secure the trust and confidence of schools and the teaching profession and we will examine Ofsted's proposals and whether they have the potential to satisfy the expectations of teachers and headteachers.
"The high-stakes nature of inspection remains the elephant in the room, and with it the crude grading system, which are yet to be addressed.
“It remains important that the Government commits to a full and independent investigation into all aspects of the school accountability system and the extent to which inspection is contributing to the unsustainable and damaging workload pressures and stress reported by those working in schools.
“Inspection and accountability should be geared towards supporting system improvement rather than punishing the dedicated and committed professionals who work tirelessly, often without the resources they need, to deliver the very best for pupils.
“The failure of too many employers to understand their duty of care towards staff before, during and after an inspection must also be tackled. A humane system of inspection would allow those working in schools to be able to access the support and advice they need when they need it at any time during the inspection process.
"We will need to see more than piecemeal changes to restore confidence and ensure that schools are held accountable for the right things in the right ways.”



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