This is very interesting information - and I would like to add some personal experience as it is of direct relevance:
In this training document for Ofsted inspectors, 'Getting them reading early' - Distance learning materials for inspecting reading; Guidance and training for inspectors, October 2011; Revised and updated July 2014, Version 4
, the following issue (in red) is raised at least twice:
The material that relates to Key Stage 2 focuses mainly on children who, for whatever reason, are still struggling to learn to read. It may be because previous teaching, in their current or previous school(s), has not been effective. It may also be because they have special educational needs. However, Ofsted said in its review of special educational needs in September 2010:
Schools should stop identifying pupils as having special educational needs when they simply need better teaching and pastoral support.
This training document for Ofsted inspectors is all about reading instruction provided in detail - the Simple View of Reading, phonics (in detail), language comprehension and so on.
In effect, it is making it clear to Ofsted inspectors that quality teaching of the alphabetic code and the phonics skills is essential - not choice - and it needs to be of high-quality - and inspectors need their own professional knowledge about reading instruction to be able to take a view on schools' provision.
A primary school recently, however, was judged to be 'outstanding' in an Ofsted inspection on every count when I know, categorically, that the headteacher and staff were not at all knowledgeable about reading instruction nor did they understand the damaging effects of their mixed methods approach resulting in disaster for at least one child at the school.
I have gone through the complaints against Ofsted judgements and procedures at multiple levels to no effect and no resolution.
I can categorically state that it has proved impossible to hold the Ofsted inspectors' judgements and the policies and procedures to account and that I have faced nothing but stonewalling and obfuscation regarding this issue.
I asked for an explanation for the lead inspector's judgement regarding a long-term, part-time exclusion case and was told by Ofsted to go through the 'Freedom of Information' act. This was done to no avail.
The case is very serious indeed and yet to be resolved and accounted for - and a huge amount of misery, neglect and damage has been caused to at least this one child who ended up on a part-time time-table (not allowed in the school in the mornings) for nearly eight months. How many more children I wonder are affected in this way? In other words, their 'special needs' are not understood, not catered for appropriately, or exacerbated by the fact that they cannot decode well enough as they get older. This particular child had exceptional decoding and encoding skills - but could not apply them because the 'code knowledge' was only at the level of the basic code (Reception level) and because the school was, in reality, a mixed methods school with no true understanding that this was the case.
In other words what I am suggesting is that we cannot properly know whether a school judged to be 'outstanding' is really outstanding or whether, in reality, untold damage may still be caused by the lack of professional knowledge and understanding of not only our teaching profession but of our inspecting profession.
This just goes to show that we are a long, long way from transparency and a long, long way from high-quality professional understanding and ACCOUNTABILITY.
My experience, then, is that it has proved impossible, to date, to hold the school accountable, to hold the Local Authority accountable, and to hold Ofsted accountable - for an appalling state of affairs for at least one child.
But, as I have pointed out to Ofsted, a million children is made up of individual children - and it is simply not good enough to wriggle out of accountability by repeatedly stating that individual children do not have to be taken into account.
This is Double Think and hypocrisy yet again.