Thursday, 29 October 2015

Should individual social workers be graded as part of Ofsted inspections?

Should individual social workers be graded as part of Ofsted inspections? 

No, no and no again! 

Hackney Children's Services Director Alan Wood's view that grading individual child protection and other social workers would help drive up performance standards is just plain wrong.|SCSC|SC019-2015-1029 

Here are just some of the reasons:

  • As Ofsted has admitted in applying the individual grading principal to teachers (which has now been abandoned), it is not possible in a short inspection to assign reliably a grade to an individual. Inevitably people just having a bad day – or encountering a grumpy inspector – would unjustly be tarred for life with an ‘inadequate’ label.
  • Individuals should have the right to challenge negative judgements about their work. Grading individuals during an inspection could result in a torrent of ‘appeals’ that would have to be resolved before the inspection results could be made public.
  • Gradings would be irreducibly subjective and based only on a brief snapshot of a person’s work.
  • Most importantly performance is driven by trust and constructive feedback, not by unpredictable judgmental labelling. 

Alan Wood, please think again.