Teaching and the Role of Ofsted

An Investigation

July 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    UCL IOE Press
  • Published
    22nd July 2020
  • ISBN 9781782772897
  • Language English
  • Pages 148 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

Ofsted has claimed on many occasions to be a force for improvement. This book, written by a former HMI and Ofsted inspector, tests this assertion by exploring how Ofsted has influenced the quality of teaching in English primary schools.

Helena McVeigh draws on extensive practice as an inspector and consultant to chart the development of Ofsted and investigate its influence on primary teaching in England. Following a brief history of inspection and the genesis of Ofsted, she reflects on the role of Ofsted handbooks, annual reports, case studies and inspections in relation to teaching, and shows how their influence has changed over time. Interviews with HMIs, primary headteachers and teachers, and the author’s own experience, inform an analysis of impact and relationships that is grounded in the work of Pierre Bourdieu and his concepts of misrecognition and symbolic violence. In pulling together all the evidence, the book offers a tension between the acknowledgement of a positive contribution made by Ofsted to teaching in English schools, and recognition of less productive impacts such as teacher stress and the "performativity" of teaching to perceived Ofsted expectations.

1. Introduction
2 History of inspection and the coming of Ofsted
3. Performativity and accountability
4. Ofsted criteria and guidance on the quality of teaching
5. How the teaching criteria were written and what influenced them
6. How schools view and use Ofsted’s teaching criteria
7. In conclusion … is Ofsted a force for improvement?

Helena McVeigh

Helena McVeigh is now an independent consultant. She was an Ofsted inspector and a former Chief Inspector of Schools for the Cayman Islands.

accountability; performativity; teaching criteria; teaching quality; Bourdieu