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Ofsted chief keen on ‘chartered status’ for inspectors

Sir Martyn Oliver has said he is open to a chartered status scheme for Ofsted inspectors – copying the system run for teachers, Schools Week understands.

The chief inspector of education touched on the fledgling idea during a question and answer session with the Chartered College of Teaching (CCT) on Wednesday.

The online session was only open to college members, but Schools Week understands Oliver praised the sense of professionalism that comes with being chartered.

He indicated he would reflect on how he could achieve something similar for the inspectorate.

Dame Alison Peacock

Chartered status is a professional learning and accreditation pathway for career development.

CCT chief executive Dame Alison Peacock said that Oliver “thought it would be advantageous if inspectors became chartered inspectors”.

She added: “He really likes the idea of the chartered teacher route that the college is establishing because it’s about building knowledge and prestige, and he liked the idea of considering whether we should have chartered inspectors.

“And he was just saying, ‘well, it’s like chartered accountants, why wouldn’t we want to have chartered inspectors?”

Peacock said the CCT would be “very happy” to engage with the Ofsted chief further on this and to “carry on the conversation”.

‘Sketching out thoughts and suggestions’

Ofsted said Oliver was “sketching out some thoughts and suggestions” and that there was nothing further to add at this stage.

The former Outwood Grange Academies Trust boss has previously talked about how he wants to get more serving practitioners to become inspectors.

He said he wants being an inspector to “become part of the golden thread” of teacher training and wants inspection to feel like “a peer-review system”.

The CCT is the professional body for teachers. According to its website it has 629 chartered teachers. Those who achieve the status get to use ‘CTeach’ after their name.

Chartered teachers are recognised for “evidence-informed, high-quality teaching practice, benefiting their school and the children and young people they teach”, CCT’s website states.

They must be reaccredited every three years to “demonstrate they continue to uphold the highest standards”.

Peacock added that such a route for inspectors could help “build expertise, ensuring that the inspectorate is both informed but also able to understand the importance of checking the veracity of evidence, understanding data”.

She added: “These are all really important factors, which would improve the consistency, would improve the quality, would improve the overall professionalism of the workforce.

“Ultimately, the end game would be that we don’t need to be scared of inspection because it’s a conversation. That, OK, it’s holding us to account, but we’re pleased to share the things that we’re doing in a professional environment, rather than waiting to be judged.”

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