Talking Ofsted with local teachers

March 27, 2015 at 8:33 pm / by
Gospel Oak School

Gospel Oak School, 26 March

One of the least popular Conservative ministers has been Michael Gove MP. As Secretary of State for Education (now “promoted sideways” to Chief Whip), teaching and leadership unions lined up to pass no confidence motions in him. Understandably, teachers are concerned about whether Government will be ready to listen to them and work together to improve education.

That is why I was very pleased to go with Keir Starmer, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Holborn & St Pancras, to Gospel Oak School on 26 March. The teachers shared their concerns about Ofsted, long commutes (linked to London’s exorbitant housing costs) and the need to slow down the pace of change. From my work as a school governor, I understood where they were coming from.

Speaking to the teachers, I stressed that my perspective was for Ofsted to work more closely with Local Authorities and schools to make sure inspections were a force for improvement rather than a disruptive influence. I am also concerned about how teachers have been demonised by the current Government and certain elements of the press – this is not the way to work together for the benefit of our children.

Along with my work as a governor, I used to live with a teacher and I can promise that, in Parliament, I will represent the reality of being a hardworking teacher, not the inaccurate view that has become too prevalent in recent years.