The impacts of OFSTED inspection on secondary schools and their teachers between 1993 and 2018: a study of the perceptions of teachers with multiple experiences of school inspection.

Luff, Ian (2021) The impacts of OFSTED inspection on secondary schools and their teachers between 1993 and 2018: a study of the perceptions of teachers with multiple experiences of school inspection. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Tracing its origins from James Callaghan’s Ruskin Speech of 1976, and exploring tensions relating to the aims and purposes of education, this study examines teachers’ perceptions of the impacts of OFSTED inspection on secondary schools and teachers from 1993 to 2018.

This is a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews carried out in a life history context of 30 teachers with a broad range of experience and seniority within the profession. Each teacher in the purposive sample was recruited on the basis of service in at least two schools and experience of at least two inspections in the OFSTED era. Many had multiple experiences of both. In total, the sample had seen 757 years’ service and had experience of 119 inspections. It contained headteachers, middle leaders and those with responsibility only to their classes. As a purely qualitative study of the perceptions of such a large sample of secondary school teachers with so much direct experience of so many OFSTED inspections over such a long time period this study makes an original contribution to knowledge and understanding of the perspectives of experienced teachers on the impacts of OFSTED inspections.

The semi-structured teacher interviews in a life history context were conducted between November 2018 and June 2020. They used a Foucauldian framework to explore the appropriateness of the lenses of governmentality, power, and discipline and to elicit thoughts on the impacts of OFSTED on schools and teachers over whole careers. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was applied to the interview data. Findings indicated broad acceptance of the appropriateness of accountability to education and mixed views concerning OFSTED’s suitability as the instrument of that accountability. Themes of the positive and negative impacts of the OFSTED accountability system were also elicited. Possible mitigations to identified negative factors included the suggestion that a more dialogic mode of inspection could help make the inspection process more acceptable to the teaching profession. However, the majority of participants had serious reservations about the use of school inspections to enforce extrinsic ends on the education system.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2021 08:30
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2021 08:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82706
DOI:

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