Thursday, 18 October 2007

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Yet another Ofsted report damning the state of British state schools, secondary schools especially. It's in all the papers. You can read about it here, here and here.

It raises one inevitable point, however. Ofsted is nominally independent. But to all intents and purposes it is a government body, funded by the taxpayer.

Is there accordingly even the remotest reason to believe that it is not every bit as inefficient as every other arm of the government?

Further, it stretches credulity to breaking point to believe that the government doesn't lean on it to massage its reports.

As the worthy Wat has pointed out, even the National Audit Office has succumbed to these pressures. It's hard to believe that Ofsted is different.

Incidentally, for those with a taste for the kind of vacuous gobbledegook without which apparently no government department can exist these days, these are Ofsted's mission statements. Note the cool absence of capital letters and the random use of bold type.

have pride in making a difference for children and learners
always seek to improve
take responsibility for what we do
trust each other and value our differences
support one another and celebrate achievement

Incidentally, Ofsted's budget for 2007-8 is £202m. So it's not exactly what you might call cheap to run.


Bog Exile said...

'support one another and celebrate achievement'

Mutually incompatabile sentiments in the public sector. The former, never having to say sorry, means the latter will be bogus. Take it from me, I write these things!!

The Creator said...

In fact, The Daily Brute, spurred ever onward and upward in its ceaseless quest to highlight the utter uselessness of all government departments, will shortly be announcing a MAJOR new prize for the government body with the most fatuous mission statement(s).

As negotiations with Buckingham Palace for the Queen to award the prize are entering a particularly delicate stage, I can say no more now.

But rest assured it will grip the nation.