A Shock to the System

  • Trevor MaleEmail author
  • Ioanna Palaiologou


Life did not go happily on for the Robert Clack School, however, when an Ofsted inspection in October 2013 rated the quality of teaching and learning only as ‘good’, which meant the school lost the ‘outstanding’ title it had enjoyed for many years on with path of continuous improvement. This was a traumatic intervention for the school and especially the senior leadership team who considered the outcome to be a contentious judgement by the inspectors. The decision also appeared to coincide with pressure from central government for there to an academy within the local authority, which gave rise to conspiracy theories. The discussion that follows firstly explores whether the judgement was influenced by the larger political picture of academisation, before discussing the way in which the school reacted and sought to move forward into the future. The school-based data that informs this chapter are drawn not only from the general range of interviews undertaken for this investigation, but also through three additional interviews in March 2016 with the headteacher and the two members of the senior leadership team who were directly involved in the most contentious aspect of the Ofsted judgement.


Inspection Academies Conspiracy Reflexive leadership Impact 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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