‘Unfit for purpose’: Ofsted could face legal challenge from school leaders

As anger mounts over headteacher’s suicide, group bids for judicial review into inconsistencies of rulings by watchdog

Senior school leaders are attempting to launch a judicial review against Ofsted on behalf of the whole sector, amid claims that schools feel “powerless” to challenge unfair or inconsistent inspection judgments, the Observer has learned.

What Ofsted has called the “outpouring of anger” from schools across the country over the suicide of Berkshire headteacher Ruth Perry in January, after the inspectorate downgraded her school, has shown no signs of abating.

Heads say individual schools are generally put off pursuing a legal appeal against an Ofsted grading because of the costs involved. Former inspectors say the “vast majority” of complaints made to the inspectorate are not upheld. However, one group of school leaders is currently talking to lawyers about a potential group judicial review of Ofsted, challenging inconsistencies in the way it inspects and judges schools.

Read more in the Guardian

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