Opinion: A true picture of life beyond school gates

Neil explains why he thinks Ofsted inspections of schools are important
Neil explains why he thinks Ofsted inspections of schools are important

Parents across the country place huge amounts of trust in schools and teachers who they hope will provide their children with the best possible education and give them the best start in life.

As in any profession, there will be those who are good at what they do and those who are less able.

Which is why most workplaces have systems in place to ensure that standards are being met and that poor performance is managed and improved. Schools are no different.

But what goes on beyond the school gates for six, seven or more hours every day is, frankly, often a mystery to most parents.

Which is why inspections by Ofsted experts are so important.

They give an impartial picture of what life is really like in the classroom.

They give parents a sense of the quality of teaching that their children are getting, how well behaved the children are, how the school managers are performing and, above all, whether the pupils are achieving the educational standards that they should.

The reports also highlight work to be done and we encourage all parents to find out the full report for their school and to gain an understanding of it.

Calls for unannounced Ofsted inspections in the wake of concerns about an Islamist takeover in Birmingham schools may be taking it too far.

But we need to know what is going on in our schools and have a duty to find out more ourselves.

Neil Pickford, Editor