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Lib Dems call for overhaul in school inspection and pupil testing

by Steve Beasant on 11 March, 2018

Today the Liberal Democrats announce plans that would abolish Ofsted and create widespread reform in how school and pupil performance is judged.

Ofsted will be replaced with a new Inspector of Schools who will report on a broad array of qualities including pupil welfare, the promotion of equality of opportunity and teacher workload, sickness and retention, as well as attainment measures.

The new body would have jurisdiction over both state and independent schools, grading each school either ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘requires support’ every three years.

Plans put forward by the Liberal Democrats at the Spring Conference will also see the abolition of SATS at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to reduce stress caused to teachers and pupils. A new a system of examination would focus on moderated teacher assessment and lighter touch testing.

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

“For far too long we have put up with a school system that fails both children and the wider economy. Students are taught to think like second rate robots, when to compete in an AI world they need not just to parrot content but to use that content creatively and in a way that can be adapted.

“These reforms represent a culture change in the way we run our schools. The current over-emphasis on high-stakes testing has lead to a system which overlooks many important elements of the development of a child. Ofsted only encourages this and is in our view too broken to be fixed.

“Parents want to know their children’s well-being is looked after and that they are receiving a broad education, which equips them for adult life, including creativity and the arts, SRE, financial literacy and first aid skills.

“We need an inspectorate and measure of success which recognises these values, empowering each individual child to be the best they can and want to be.”

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