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The fear of inspections.

The fear of inspections.

The schools community has a “collective responsibility” to tackle the “culture of fear” surrounding inspections, the chief inspector has said, as she attacked headteachers who “manufacture tension” between Ofsted and schools.

Amanda Spielman told a teaching conference in Birmingham this morning that the anxiety felt by teachers and school leaders about Ofsted was an “enormous challenge”, and called for a joint effort to bust myths about the inspection system.

Ofsted has for many years sought to challenge negative assumptions about its approach to inspecting schools. Many teachers believe the inspectorate is too data-focused, with judgments only based on a snapshot of a school’s work, and school leaders have reported rising stress and anxiety caused by inspections.

Speaking at the Ark Schools Teach 2017 conference today, Spielman admitted a “culture of fear” had “built up over the years”, with much of it based on “perception rather than reality”.

She said there was a “wide responsibility across the system” to “take down” the anxiety and fear about Ofsted inspections, and blamed headteacher bloggers

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