Ofsted 'should be split into a million pieces, and then buried in the heart of a dying star', suggest Education Committee.
|Those key recommendations:|
When asked to explain this apparently disproportionate response to recent reports that Ofsted was too big, too unwieldy to serve any of its functions with efficiency and focus, Graham Stuart MP, Head of the Committee gave this reply:
'Naturally we are alive to accusations of excess, particularly in the current economic climate when the electorate are, quite understandably, seeking solutions that are both cost-efficient and future-proof. At first we were simply going to propose that the body be split into two agencies, one with responsibility for Education, and the other for children's care. But then we were all in the bar afterwards, shot-gunning vodka through our tear ducts, and we thought, 'Why stop there?''
'Some of them even need maps,' he added.
'Then someone else remembered that this was also the same Ofsted where, in some places, less than 10% of their inspectors are working professionals in the field they're investigating. Fancy that. Imagine being a teacher when some cadaverous, old has-been or school drop-out comes into your room like a bad smell and tells you you're unsatisfactory. I imagine some teachers would be a bit peeved.'
|Binmen 'to assess Heads of Ofsted'.|
'By this point we were snorting Midori, and really got going. We talked about, how since the new stripped-down two-day inspections, almost every school essentially got the same grading as its examination results would predict, which made a few of ask what the whole bloody thing was actually for? Of course, by this point, some of us were sliding under the table, but once we all got our second wind, we were back off the floor and dancing around a picture of Christine Gilbert, the Head of Ofsted. Did you know she's the wife of the ex-government minister Tony McNulty? I bet the interview was hard. We talked about how the things that Ofsted look for become the only things schools focus on, until teachers spend all their time fretting about healthy eating in maths lessons, and promoting numeracy in PE, and the world, essentially goes to Hell.'
'Then, just about when dawn was coming up and we could barely move, we realised that the solution didn't lie in just breaking it up into two parts. We liked the breaking up bit. That was on the right track. But then we put gas in the tank and decided, f*ck it, let's do this thing. Let's just blow it to smithereens instead.'
|International precedents for Quango reform were promising.|
'No,' he said with a far away look, as if he was trying to think of something. 'No, that won't be enough. You know that bit in Star Wars, where the Death Star blows up Alderaan? Well, Ofsted needs to be on that planet.'
'Not a proper acronym', claims MP
'I mean, it's not even a proper bloody acronym for God's sake. How do you get Ofsted from the 'Office for Standards in Education, Children's' Services and Skills'? We might as well call it OFSECS, which at least has some prurient value.'
Ofsted would only comment that restructuring was a 'matter for the government'. Then it closed the lid of its coffin, and refused to take any more questions.