chapter  6
16 Pages

Inspection and education: the indivisibility of standards

WithRobin Alexander 1 19

What follows is a lightly edited version of evidence submitted to the 1 998-9 Commons Education Sub-Committee Inquiry into the Work of Ofsted. The editing has removed paragraph numbering, the executive summary and the conclusions, but has incorporated a further brief state­ ment which the author submitted to the Committee in the light of its reported meeting with Her Majesty's Chief Inspector (HMCI) in February 1 999. If there is a theme, it is that 'standards' - the obligatory educational watchword of all governments these days - are a moral absolute rather than merely something to be measured on an 8-level scale, and that they must, therefore, be applied with equal rigour to all aspects of the education service: to those who inspect no less than those who are inspected, to those who make policy no less than those who implement it.