Ofsted did their usual today, producing another report which seeks to slam the teaching profession rather than point out all the good work that is being done. As a teacher I know that getting a child with genuine Special Education Needs to be registered as SEN and get a statement is like trying to jump through flaming hoops, it requires much work and effort, and is not the easy option. However, Ofsted instead chose to simply blame teachers and claim a quarter (a gross distortion) or pupils are registered as SEN incorrectly.
There are those that will jump on this straight away and use it as another stick to beat the teaching profession, but those people nearly all reside within the ranks of the Tory Party, and thus the whole Ofsted strategy is laid bare.
The fact is that when the government are asking for suggestions about where cuts can be made, the massively under performing Ofsted are prime candidates for a budget cut. With their tick box approach to grading schools criticised, an obsession with grading lunch boxes over learning, their lack of judgement in giving Haringey Council a clean bill of health just months before the Baby Peter scandal, backing poor teachers and numerous other examples, it is clear Ofsted is an organisation in need of reform. So a return to the Chris Woodhead style of Ofsted, attacking the teaching profession, blaming teachers, pandering to the right wing, is just the deal that might save them, and provide the ammunition the government are looking for.
Today's Ofsted report is just the sort of news the Tories want (forget what the Lib Dems want, those in government will toe the Tory line). It now gives the Conservatives an excuse to make it harder for children to be registered as SEN. It gives them a chance to impose cuts with Ofsted as their justification. In short, Ofsted has offered up SEN children as the sacrificial lambs to save their own necks.
Note - My own personal experience of Ofsted has been positive, but I am graded a "good" teacher, and my school is progressive and moving forward. I do, however, tire of Ofsted's "press release" culture, where they lecture the teaching profession through the pages of the Daily Mail instead rather than abandoning their tick lists and engaging with those who work in education.