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OFSTED WIDENS FOCUS TO 'COASTING' SCHOOLS

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Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, has attack...
Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, has attacked moves by Ofsted to crack down on schools deemed to be 'coasting' and failing their brightest pupils.

The Financial Times (p8) reports that Ofsted's new inspection system, announced yesterday, will single out schools which ought to be better and label them publicly as 'under-achieving'.

But Mr De Gruchy said: 'There seems to be no end to the number of schools Ofsted is prepared to menace and threaten. It is all desperately sad. Most of these schools would respond to a quiet, professional approach. To suggest that they have to be threatened in this way is unrealistic and demeaning for the vast majority and quite unnecessary. Where does it all end?'

But Mike Tomlinson, Ofsted's director of inspection, said: 'It is possible we might have missed some schools whose performance might be good by national standards, but ought to be better.'

Peter Matthews, another senior official, said: 'Parents may be quite happy with the way these schools are performing. What inspections can do is to tell those parents whether schools really are doing enough for their children.'
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