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Repeal Ofset monopoly

Comment 8th July 2010

Ofsted currently has a monopoly in assessing quality in schools.  Why not let schools have a choice about who assesses them?  The existing monopoly is one cause of the poor quality of assessments.  The lack of fairness and common sense from Ofsted exasperates many teachers.  Private sector businesses can decide if they want to be inspected by (for example) BSI or Lloyds Register.  The UK Accreditation Service ensures that BSI and Lloyds Register conform with international best practice.  Let's scrap Ofsted's monopoly and let in competition and common sense.  Each school would have a small budget which it must spend with one of the inspection agencies, but they would be able to select the one which they think is best. 

Why does this matter?

Monopolies are often dangerous, unfair, inefficient and complacent.  Giving schools the economic power to chose their assessors should operate better, just as it does for private sector organisations.  Ofsted would be replaced by multiple organisations.  Schools are likely to select assessors who are competent and fair.  This would reduce the current high level of incompetence and lack of fairness in assessments.  It would reduce the frustration and stress which the present system causes to teachers.  I suspect that it would save a lot of time and money, but the most important benefit would be fairer and more accurate assessment, and better quality all round.
 

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