Teaching and the Role of Ofsted

An investigation

Helena McVeigh,

Teaching and the Role of Ofsted: An investigation
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. Drawing on this evidence, the book offers a tension between acknowledging 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.

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