A York MP has raised concerns about Ofsted inspections after parents questioned the fairness of a report into their village school.
Naburn Church of England Primary School was issued with a rating of ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in March, after a December inspection.
If a school funded by the local authority is judged as ‘inadequate’ then it must become an academy or face closure, according to government rules.
Concerns have been raised about the conduct and findings of the Ofsted inspection, coming just 24 days after a new head teacher took up post. Ofsted were also criticised for giving insufficient weight to the reasons for low attendance rates among the high proportion of students from the traveller community.
In response, Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer held a debate on the accountability of Ofsted in Parliament.
During the debate, he highlighted Naburn’s case and talked of the feeling of powerlessness felt by all involved over the lack of a binding independent appeals mechanism.
Afterwards, Mr Sturdy said: “After attending a packed public meeting about the future of the school in Naburn it was clear that the overriding view amongst parents and teachers was one of frustration.
“Whilst the school acknowledges many of the points raised in the Ofsted report, there remain issues on which it feels it did not get a fair hearing.
“Given the profound impact that the report will have for the school’s future it is important that it is given every opportunity to make its case, something that it is simply is not afforded under the current appeals procedure.
“I was very grateful for the contribution of nearly 2,000 teachers, parents and governors, including many from York Outer who took the time to fill out my survey in advance of the debate.
“This allowed me to draw from the experience of those who have dealt with Ofsted first-hand in making a positive case for an enhanced independent appeals process to add an extra layer of accountability to the current system under which Ofsted are allowed to mark their own homework.”