Best Practice

School accountability in England: A critique

No school accountability system is perfect, but will mooted changes to inspection in England tackle some of the unintended consequences that school leaders face? Hilary Grayson draws some lessons from international practice

The school accountability regime in England has met with a lot of scrutiny in the past year. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) led an expert commission in considering the case for a reformed school accountability system, and coinciding with publication of the commission’s report in September 2018, there was a lot of media coverage on the issue.

The Department for Education (DfE) has recently published a brief paper entitled Principles for a clear and simple school accountability system (May 2018), which is to be followed by more detailed proposals and a future full consultation.

And Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, in her Annual Report for 2017/18, noted that: “Where (an) accountability measure becomes the sole driver of a school, college or nursery’s work, their real purpose – to help young people learn and grow – is lost.”

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here