Belvedere Junior School school caught up in 'cut and paste' Ofsted row

First published in News by

A BEXLEY school has found itself at the centre of a row about “cutting and pasting” Ofsted reports.

Belvedere Junior School’s highly critical report published in March had a number of similarities with the report of Malmesbury Primary School in Tower Hamlets.

Union leaders warned there is a problem with formulaic guidelines that inspectors must follow for school visits.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) leader Russell Hobby told the Times Educational Supplement that “cut and paste” reports were “not acceptable given that the fate of the school rests on what is written”.

Belvedere Junior School was placed into ‘special measures’ as a result of the report which branded it ‘inadequate’ in three out of four categories.

The similarities were reported by the TES, who noticed similar comments of the low attainment of pupils in reading, writing and maths.

Both reports also contained the sentence: “Some teachers do not plan learning for pupils at their different levels of ability and marking is not leading to improvement."

And both state: "The majority of parents and carers are positive about how well the school develops their children's skills in reading, writing and mathematics."

Belvedere Junior School and Malmesbury Primary were visited by a team with the same lead inspector who works for Tribal, a company contracted by Ofsted to carry out inspections.

Ofsted said reports were moderated and stood by the judgements they record.

A spokesman said: “We are concerned by the similarity of some of the wording used in the two reports and this is being looked into with the inspector concerned."

Tribal said it aims to ensure reports "reflect the uniqueness of schools" and stood by its judgements. It said the similarities noted “caused concern” and will be investigated.

Tribal said: “If proven, Tribal will take swift action to stop using the inspector again."

A Belvedere School spokesman said: “We are in discussions with Ofsted over our recent report and because of this we are not in a position to give a comment at present.”

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