Chasing rainbows? Ofsted’s quest for inter-inspector reliability

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 65 Number 3 (2023)

Chasing rainbows? Ofsted’s quest for inter-inspector reliability
Terry Pearson pages 67-77
DOI: 10.3898/forum.2023.65.3.09


Ofsted has frequently defended the judgements made during inspections by claiming that inspection ratings are reliable, as shown by the results from the collection of studies the inspectorate has conducted. I outline the inspectorate’s view of reliability and problematise the studies that it has carried out, noting that these provide insufficient evidence to support Ofsted’s claims. I describe a recent study, which utilised an alternative approach to studying the reliability of inspection outcomes, by way of introducing a short discussion of why the inspectorate needs to develop a more productive view of reliability that reflects better the inherent variability of inspectors’ decision-making and judgements. 

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To cite this article
Terry Pearson (2023) Chasing rainbows? Ofsted’s quest for inter-inspector reliability, FORUM, 65(3), 67-77.

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