The launch of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) at the start of the past academic year has been followed with mixed reactions, leading to a number of key voices across the sector to question the role of Ofsted within the school system. Chair of the Headteachers Roundtable, Stephen Tierney, expressed concerns on the new framework, stating that the framework is “developing a new orthodoxy a-one-size-fits-all Ofsted curriculum”. Amid these concerns, the Headteachers Roundtable launched their #pauseofsted campaign at their recent annual conference, urging all school leaders to step back from any Ofsted inspection duties to enable Ofsted to rethink both its role and how Ofsted can effectively drive standards in the future.

Tierney has publicly questioned previously whether inspecting and providing grades to schools is the best way to improve school performance. The campaign, affecting an estimated 70% of school leaders who are current practitioners, has already had an impact on Ofsted so far. The National Education Union (NEU) has backed the campaign, urging their members to stop working as Ofsted inspectors to challenge the current school accountability system. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) meanwhile has stated that they are ‘not convinced that this action is the best way forward to create a better system’.