31/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 19:55

Head teachers attack chief inspector's 'culture of fear'

Category: England

Published: 6th May 2012 03:55:35

Head teachers are accusing the chief inspector of schools in England of creating a "culture of fear" in England's schools.

The National Association of Head Teachers says it expected more from Sir Michael Wilshaw, a former head himself.

The NAHT will debate a motion deploring Sir Michael's "negative rhetoric" and promising to "pursue whatever action it deems appropriate" to defend heads.

Ofsted said the intention was to work closely with good heads.

On Saturday delegates put forward a late motion for discussion which called for a vote of no confidence in the chief inspector.

However, after debate, the NAHT decided the wording of it was too strong and amounted to the same sort of bullying rhetoric they were criticising.

We are saddened by Sir Michael, especially as he was a head once”

Overnight, the association drew up a new motion which will be put before members on Sunday morning.

It says: "This conference s both saddened and angered by the approach taken by the current HMIC (Her Majesty's chief inspector).

"We deplore his negative rhetoric which is creating a culture of fear in schools.

"We would have expected him, as a former fellow school leader, to understand that to get the best out of children and staff in schools, we need to both challenge and support.

"We call on national executive to pursue whatever action it deems appropriate to defend our profession."

The motion represents a further straining of relationships between the NAHT and Ofsted, coming just days after the association raised concerns about the quality and impartiality of school inspections.

A poll of more than 2,000 school leaders, conducted by the union, found almost half (45.3%) believed Ofsted made no contribution to, or actively prevented, standards being raised.

Nine out of 10 (89.9%) were either unhappy or very unhappy about the tone and content of recent announcements by the watchdog.

Ofsted has recently announced plans - currently out for consultation - to introduce no-notice inspections for all schools and to scrap the "satisfactory" rating and replace it with "requires improvement".

Vice-president of the NAHT Bernadette Hunter said Ofsted was putting an "intolerable amount of stress" on heads.

Ms Hunter, a primary school head teacher in Staffordshire, said the "horrible rhetoric" from the schools watchdog was putting people off becoming head teachers.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said: "Ofsted has been listening to the views of head teachers, teacher and parents about its proposed changes to school inspections and will announce the results of its consultation at the end of the month.

"The intention is to work closely with good heads as they drive improvement in their schools."

The debate comes despite Education Secretary Michael Gove signalling a u-turn over Sir Michael's plans for no-notice inspections of schools from September.

Addressing the conference on Saturday morning, Mr Gove said the proposals were likely to be dropped.

The plans, announced by Sir Michael in January, caused anger among head teachers, who currently receive 48 hours' notice.

The NAHT welcomed Mr Gove's speech, saying heads had a right to make sure they were on site for inspections.

Sir Michael took up his post in January. He was previously executive head of Mossbourne Academy in Hackney, east London.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Head teachers attack chief inspector's 'culture of fear' [Online] (Updated 6th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426792/Head-teachers-attack-chief-inspectors-culture-of-fear [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Plans unveiled for more local TV stations in Scotland

    Plans have been unveiled for five more local TV stations in Scotland.
  • Express Motors staff in Penygroes arrested in fraud investigation

    Five people arrested by North Wales Police in connection with a fraud investigation work for a Gwynedd bus company, BBC Wales understands.
  • Metropolitan Opera in late union talks to avoid lockout

    The Metropolitan Opera in New York says it hopes last minute negotiations with unions will avoid a staff lockout.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Greek farmers charged with shooting migrants freed

    The owner and head foreman of a farm in Greece have been cleared over the shooting of a group of migrant workers in which 30 were wounded.
  • Why tax is the trickiest issue of all for politicians

    When politicians talk about tax it makes headlines - even if they are not really saying anything. Let's play a little guessing game....