Kevan Collins in the TES: “how does Ofsted’s evidence review fare?”
Our chief executive Sir Kevan Collins explores Ofsted's use of research underpinning its proposed new Education Inspection Framework in this week's TES.
Here's how his article starts:
Transparency takes bravery. In the short term, it might have been easier if Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman and her research team, led by Professor Daniel Muijs, had chosen to hide the working behind the new Ofsted framework, which was published in draft form two weeks ago. Instead, when the consultation was launched, they also published a fully referenced document, setting out the rationale and sources supporting their proposals.
Ironically, by sharing the evidence base on which the framework is built, Ofsted has made it easier for others to challenge its work. But this openness is hugely valuable, and worthy of serious praise. Evidence can democratise education, and it is undoubtedly a step forward for the inspectorate to set out the studies that will inform its new approach.
Also, the positive impact of an expectation that school and system leaders base their decisions on evidence – and that they set out clearly what this evidence is – cannot be underestimated.
But evidence is as valuable when it is used to start a conversation as when it ends one. Engaging in debate about the quality and application of research is a key part of being truly evidence-informed. Indeed, peer review is the foundation of good research, and plays a crucial role in helping us to reach the strongest and most robust conclusions.
So, in this spirit, how does Ofsted’s evidence review fare?