Reciprocal Responsibility: why teachers should be the people to inspect schools

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 62 Number 3 (2020)

Reciprocal Responsibility: why teachers should be the people to inspect schools
CHRIS SMITH pages 445-454
DOI: 10.15730/forum.2020.62.3.445


At a time of great threat to the education of the current school cohort caused by the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown, the phrase 'never let a good crisis go to waste' sounds apt. Education will have to change to meet new demands. The author wishes to advance the case for teachers, fully recognised as the key workers they are, to have their professional agency afforded greater respect in relation to school inspection. Teachers should become the inspectors. The article examines the current rationale for the inspectorate - one informed by politicians who have presided over reforms to public services which incorporate the logic of the free market. The author questions how appropriate such logic is to the provision of education. He advances the case for an alternative approach to ensuring high standards in schools - one which draws on the professionalism of serving classroom teachers and resembles a collaborative learning and professional development exercise. It is argued that this could be more efficient than the current approach, which strips teachers of their professional agency as part of a political agenda of deskilling that aims to make teachers more compliant and less costly. The author hopes to stimulate debate about how the assessment of teaching can be conducted and how the voices of serving teachers can be better heard.

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To cite this article
CHRIS SMITH (2020) Reciprocal Responsibility: why teachers should be the people to inspect schools, FORUM, 62(3), 445-454.

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