NAHT puts forward alternative vision for accountability in schools

There’s currently a lot of ambiguity surrounding accountability in schools and this can be a major contributing factor to stress borne by teachers and school leaders. This stress puts an unnecessary burden on education professionals, causing schools to suffer from workplace and retention issues as a result.

Promisingly, however, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is launching an investigation into school accountability, in a move that’s welcomed by teacher advocates such as eTeach.

NAHT deputy general secretary, Nick Brook, introduced the union’s independent commission into accountability at the Westminster Education Forum, reports the Education Executive.

During his speech, Mr Brook referenced a report the NAHT published a year ago entitled Redressing the Balance, which focused on assessments and aimed to “restore some common sense to a system that had become chaotic and confused.” He outlined that accountability is currently based on statutory assessment results, meaning those assessments are high stakes and lead to negative outcomes.

He stated: “[It] was always our plan to create a second piece of work looking at how schools are held to account, including the future role of Ofsted. We know that schools need to be accountable, but they should not operate in fear and uncertainty.”

The commission was officially launched on 6 March and accountability will be assessed across every educational phase and sector. It will showcase the views of leaders in the field of education policy, with the interim findings expected before the summer term and the full report delivered in September.

Those on board include Sir Robin Bosher, Michael Tidd, Alison Peacock, Professor Becky Allen and Sam Freedman. It is hoped that these names will encourage policyholders to ‘sit up a take notice,’ in the same way they did when Redressing the Balance was released.

Mr Brook concluded: “We need an accountability system that neither distorts teaching and learning nor weighs too heavily on the shoulders of the dedicated professionals working in our schools today. Test and exam data are only part of the picture when judging a school’s effectiveness or a pupil’s success.”

This is a huge, positive step and we hope the results will lead to greater transparency surrounding school accountability. The ambiguity around Accountability is a major contributing factor to the stress borne by teachers and school leadership which is totally unnecessary and only leads to workplace and retention issues, so further investigation is welcomed by teacher advocates.

eTeach provides technology for school leaders to help you free up time spent on lengthy administration tasks, which means head teachers can focus on crafting their own, strategic policy for issues like accountability and assessment within their school.  Find out more about our industry-leading recruitment software, School Recruiter.



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