More schools in Shropshire will be placed into special measures as a tougher national inspection regime takes effect, a former headteacher today warned.
Julia Thomas, who resigned from her post at The Grange School in Shrewsbury this summer after it went into special measures earlier in the year, said she feared more would be called failing as the Government continued to press for more academies.
She claimed the drive to bring in academies and reduce local authority control was contributing to the harsher inspections and pressure on teachers and pupils.
Mrs Thomas said the removal of the ‘satisfactory’ category from Ofsted reports was going to have a major impact on the number of schools being judged as failing.
“The agenda is blunt. If the school is judged by Ofsted as outstanding or good it can convert to academy. In this instance, little changes in respect of staffing, governance or personnel,” she said.
“For schools previously judged satisfactory or placed in a category there is no choice, they are expected to become a sponsored academy. This will change the governance and the senior leadership of the school and staff and personnel is also likely to be affected.
“The new Ofsted framework is instrumental in forcing the academy agenda.
“More schools will be placed in notice to improve or special measures and the expectation from Department for Education is that these schools will require radical structural change, so bring in a sponsor.”
Inspection changes came into force last month, with schools required to reach a minimum of good.
Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said: “I make no apology for introducing a framework that raises expectations and focuses on the importance of teaching.”