Wednesday, 11 September 2013


A step forward for CE and school inspection?
Norman Perrin draws attention to a recent (written) exchange in Parliament –
Henry Smith (Crawley, Conservative)

What advice has my right hon. Friend given to Ofsted on the assessment of free schools, such as the Discovery New School in my constituency, given that they do not always meet the rigid national criteria of other schools?

Michael Gove (Secretary of State, Education; Surrey Heath, Conservative)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that issue. Ofsted has, in its new revised handbook, taken account of the fact that more parents are exercising choice in a way that inevitably compels Ofsted to review its guidance, and explicitly it says:

'Certain types of schools (such as faith, Steiner and Montessori schools) exist as maintained or independent schools. When inspecting such…provisions, inspectors should familiarise themselves with the background information to these types of schools.'
Norman remarks on his blog –
One presumes that this applies equally to Conductive Education (as to 'faith, Steiner and Montessori schools'), when inspecting schools such as Paces School.
The word 'faith' here refers to religious schools in contemporary British usage. 'Steiner and Montessori' are about as far as it seems to go if most people, certainly most in public positions are required to think about theories and philosophies of education. Fifteen or twenty years ago, some may also have thought of Conductive Education.
My own comment on Norman's blog, by the way –
Next time they call round to you (at a day's notice) you might like to remind them of this and (ouch!) ask what briefing/readings they have had.
Perrin, N.(2013) Ofsted required to familiarise with philosophic background of schools inspecting, Paces (blog), 10 September

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