Schoolzone: Academy chains and Ofsted

Academy chains and Ofsted


3 Sept 2014


Ofsted inspected 12 of AET's 77 academies and found that too many were underperforming and that teachers in them feel under-supported. This is the latest in a bout of criticism levelled at multi-academy trusts, including Kemnal and E-Act, following inspections of some of their schools.

Michael Wilshaw has been calling for powers to inspect the chains themselves (not just individual schools) in the same way that local authorities are inspected. This latest report seems to advance their case: perhaps part of an ongoing strategy to undermine our confidence in them in order to support Wilshaw's demands.

One can't help wondering whether the appointment of David Hoare, a trustee of AET, as chair of Ofsted was a wise choice. Was it a coincidence that Ofsted were, presumably, already writing this latest report at the time he was appointed? Some red faces at Ofsted this week?

Anyway, while Gove always seemed impervious to Wilshaw's demands to inspect chains, perhaps the new Education Secretary (she's called Nicky Morgan, by the way) will be more open - it was she who signed off on Hoare's chairmanship of Ofsted, apparently.

The question is: why shouldn't they be inspected: on the grounds of fairness if nothing else? Ofsted are clearly concerned about some of them, but even if they weren't, what could be the justification for not allowing Ofsted in?

We're still waiting for some ripples from Nick Morgan's arrival at the DfE - maybe this will be the first.





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