Thursday, 26 January 2012

Notes to Tweet to Michael Gove.

In response to the invitation by the Education Select Committee to Tweet a question to Michael Gove, I have Tweeted the following (as @Cyberrhetoric).

Why is the SoS not fulfilling his duty to ensure Ofsted comply with the law it become obliged to on 10/11/09? #AskGove

These notes are provided to ensure the Secretary of State for Education can provide an appropriate answer to the question.

Legal Notes:

The Order to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act (2006) which came into law in
 1st October 2009 (part 1A (17)) obliges Ofsted to the law created by the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act (2006).
This Law prescribes that “regulatory activities should be carried out in a way which is transparent, accountable, proportionate and consistent” and that “regulatory activities should be targeted only at cases in which action is needed”.
This Law was created to force regulators to implement the principles established by the Hampton Review (2005).

Explanation of relevant aspects of the meaning of the law in practice:
In fulfilling their duties to protect against unacceptable practice, drive quality improvement and report to government on the state of the industries they regulate and the services provided, other UK regulators obliged to the same law have worked to ensure that:
1) they seek to establish and police the boundary between unacceptable and acceptable practice and to ensure that organisations are engaged in process of effective internal communication, detailed reporting or both a qualitative and an quantitative nature and professional cycles of quality improvement but they do not pre-define categories of quality as this has been show to suppress innovation, healthy diversity and professional freedom.
2) there is an expectation that when inspectors engage with organisations, inspectors will come to understand new practice with which they were not previously familiar so that they can properly report to government regarding new best practice so that they can accurately report to government regarding the quality of products and services provided.
3) regulators constantly strive to ensure that only inspectors who are highly respected professionals are used so that the purposes of inspection can be paramount at all times and so that inspectors who focus instead on process of inspection without being able to subordinate those processes to intelligent purpose focused discussion and are therefore likely to invoke disproportionate consequences are not employed.

Comments from the author of the question:
Having researched this issue extensively I have found significant evidence to suggest that Ofsted are seriously misrepresenting their legal obligations.
Certainly it would not be in the personal interests of many currently in senior positions at Ofsted to see it enforced.
The actions the Secretary of State for Education has taken to reform Ofsted do not seem to understand this law. I therefore wonder if perhaps the Secretary of State for Education is unaware of his duties to enforce this law which will substantially improve the degree of appropriate professional freedom all schools are allowed?