University Of Tasmania
whole_VannBarbaraJane2006_thesis.pdf (7.64 MB)

The effectiveness of the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) inspection process in England as an accountability mechanism and its influence upon whole school improvement in English maintained schools

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posted on 2023-05-27, 12:59 authored by Vann, BJ
The research questions addressed in this thesis are: How effective is the OFSTED process as an accountability mechanism? And, does whole school inspection lead to school improvement? The literature of school effectiveness and school improvement is reviewed followed by an outline of the evidence of school improvement offered by OFSTED from 1996 as a context for the inspection outcomes and subsequent improvement or not, in four case study schools. An attempt is made to link the OFSTED mantra of \Improvement through Inspection\" to the inspection process as experienced by the schools in the study. In addition a brief context is provided that outlines the systemic change processes and accountability processes that were prevalent in the education systems of the largely English-speaking world at the time of OFSTED's inception and more recently. A comparison is made between OFSTED and the international examples before detailing the research on OFSTED's effectiveness and the government response. The ethnographic methodology used is justified aware of the potential difficulties attached where the researcher is also the headteacher of one of the four case study schools. Results from the case studies allow discussion of the differences in approach from the headteachers to the inspection process and the possible consequences of their actions. Other issues arising from the case studies include: the relevance of the timing of the inspections within the evolution of the OFSTED process; the situation of the schools at the time of their inspections; the relationships between stakeholders within the schools particularly the apparent marginalisation of the governors from the process; the communities' perceptions of the schools and the personal disposition of the headteachers towards the OFSTED process. Inconsistencies in the OFSTED process as experienced by the study schools were found to include the lack of credibility given to the OFSTED process by some teachers and senior staff in the schools and the manner in which the schools acknowledged the validity of the inspection judgements. The thesis concludes by using the research evidence from this study to pose tentative conclusions about how effective the OFSTED inspection is as an accountability process and whether whole school inspection leads to school improvement. It reviews the constraints and limitations of the evidence and indicates areas for further research."


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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references. Ch. 1. Introduction -- Ch. 2. Literature review - school effectiveness, school improvement and the Office for Standards in Education -- Ch. 3. The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) -- Ch. 4. Methodology -- Ch. 5. Case study: school A -- Ch. 6. Case studies of schools A (second inspection), B (two inspections), C, and D -- Ch. 7. Differences in inspection and their consequences -- Summary of findings, conclusions, implications, and recommendations for further study

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