Worthless Ofsted

July 14, 2000

Ofsted chief Chris Woodhead, has told college principals that "we must have an inspection process that comes to some judgements we can stand up about whether students in your college are making the progress they should" (News, THES, June 30).

Many colleges can already make this judgement using detailed and extensive "value-added" data. It is a waste of money to have inspectors passing judgement on data that speaks for itself.

It is also a waste of money for inspectors, having given six to 12 weeks' notice of their visit, to watch overprepared, overanxiously delivered lectures. Where is the credibility in such a procedure?

Ofsted is an irrational response to a very important concern about quality. It prevents learning by pretending to have the answers using totally inadequate methods. As for worth, it must be one of the few operations in which the value for money is negative.

Carol Taylor Fitz-Gibbon University of Durham

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns