Myth-busting campaign is helping teachers better understand Ofsted, organisation claims

Education inspectorate Ofsted has claimed a myth-busting campaign aimed at stopping "misinformation" about the organisation among teachers, has successfully debunked many of the most pervasive myths.

The non-ministerial government department launched the scheme 18 months ago to give advice to teachers about what it does - and doesn’t - expect of them during the inspection process and to address any negativity towards Ofsted.

The organisation has now given its first update into whether the campaign was having an effect in a recent blog post by its director of education, Sean Harford.

He said most of the myths they were attempting to debunk had been successfully tackled. For instance, 81 per cent of teachers know that Ofsted don’t require individual lesson plans and 70 per cent are aware that Ofsted don’t grade individual lessons, according to a survey of teachers released last month (July).

However, Harford admitted there was still much more work to do as the survey also revealed 70 per cent of teachers still mistakenly believe Ofsted has a "preferred, child-centred, style of teaching". And only 56 per cent appreciated that most Ofsted inspection teams "include a serving school teacher".

He added: "It’s fair to say that we won’t be winning a popularity contest any time soon. No surprise there! But even within some tough messages we can see an acknowledgement of the professionalism of our work."

In addition to raising awareness through social media, Ofsted has created a series of myth-busting videos, which have been viewed around 38,000 times to date, and there have been more than 25,000 downloads of an 'inspection myths' pdf document.

Cait Mellow, Ofsted’s digital communications manager, told PRWeek: "We have a pressing need to counteract the misinformation that spreads among teachers. This misinformation often leads to teachers doing work especially for Ofsted, which is not actually required and only adds to their workload unnecessarily. We know that teacher workload has a massive impact on teacher recruitment and retention, so we have a duty, where possible, to reduce this burden."

She added: "There is still plenty more work to be done before we can confidently say that our messages have reached every school and classroom in the country."


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