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OFSTED, Inspection and the Betrayal of Democracy

By Michael Fielding


Drawing briefly on the quite different discourses of schooling-as-performance and education-as-exploration, the paper opens by exploring some of the consequences of the distinction between schooling and education for any system of school inspection. The second section of the paper examines the conceptual and practical inadequacy of ‘accountability’ as an agent of reciprocal public engagement in a participatory democracy. In its stead a more robust, more open notion of ‘reciprocal responsibility’ is offered as a more fitting means of professional and communal renewal. Section III focuses on the relationship between means and ends that is at once central to democracy and so conspicuously absent from current inspection arrangements. The short conclusion suggests we need a radical break from OFSTED if we wish to approximate more closely to our democratic aspirations

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2001
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