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Woman stress white inspection

Teachers have called for inspectorates and Governments to go further and faster with reform to the inspection system, after they spoke of the debilitating impact which the school inspection system is having on teachers’ mental health.

Teachers attending the Annual Conference of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union in Harrogate warned that more frontline teachers will be lost to the profession unless fundamental changes are made to the way in which the inspection process operates.

Inspection pressures were cited as the biggest driver of excessive teacher workload by respondents to a recent NASUWT survey on pay and working conditions. Six in ten of those who responded said inspection was the biggest contributor to their workloads.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“Our members have heard warm words but they are yet to see any serious action from the Government to end the tyranny of inspection and ensure that teachers and headteachers can properly focus their time on teaching and on pupils’ learning.

“Schools should be held accountable for the right things in the right ways, and teachers empowered to use their professional judgement to best meet the needs of pupils, rather than chasing evidence to satisfy arbitrary, pointless or perceived demands.

“The current system of grading schools is damaging the health, wellbeing and morale of teachers and headteachers, and is doing nothing to help raise educational standards.

“However, the inspection system will not be fixed unless there are fundamental reforms to the wider accountability system that currently penalises schools for the failure of Government to deliver the investment needed.

“The Government cannot continue with inaction in the face of a continuing crisis of confidence in the inspection system.

“Ministers need to show that they are listening to the profession by acting to deliver the changes and the investment needed.”


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