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Volume 664: debated on Monday 9 September 2019

As the independent inspectorate, Ofsted plays a vital role in providing a rounded assessment of school and college performance, and that role has helped to raise standards in our schools. Ofsted’s latest statement on its performance was set out in its annual report and accounts presented to Parliament in July, which reported solid operating performance across all areas of work.

Two secondary schools in my constituency have had recent inspections, and both headteachers, whom I respect greatly, are appalled at how those inspections have been handled. We complained to Ofsted, and we had one side of A4 on the investigation into those complaints. Can we have a system in which Ofsted does not effectively mark its own homework?

I know the hon. Gentleman has been concerned about those inspections, and he met Ofsted’s north-west regional director. Ofsted is directly accountable to Parliament, and the vast majority of inspections go without incident. Ofsted has a quality assurance process and a complaints procedure to deal with those rare instances where it does not go according to plan.

At the last Ofsted inspection, Red Hill Field Primary School was marked as good. The school is celebrating its 35-year anniversary this Friday. What message does the Minister have for that excellent school, for Mr Snelson, the headteacher, and for all the staff on their excellent work over 35 years?

I congratulate Mr Snelson, the head of Red Hill Field Primary School, on achieving a good grading in the Ofsted inspection, and I pay tribute to him and all the staff for the excellent education they are providing to pupils.