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The validity and reliability of Ofsted judgements of the quality of secondary mathematics initial teacher education courses

Sinkinson, Anne and Jones, Keith (2001) The validity and reliability of Ofsted judgements of the quality of secondary mathematics initial teacher education courses Cambridge Journal of Education, 31, (2), pp. 221-237. (doi:10.1080/0305764012006155).

Record type: Article


The inspection by Ofsted’s Initial Teacher Education and Training (ITET) team of courses of initial teacher education is high stakes. An unsatisfactory report can lead to course closure. Even a satisfactory report can lead to reductions in quota resulting in a spiral of decline in course viability. The high stakes nature of the inspection means that there has to be complete confidence in the level of validity and reliability of the inspection process. This paper presents an analysis of the complete cohort of published inspection reports of providers of secondary mathematics initial teacher education Post-graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses carried out by the Ofsted ITET team in the period 1996–1998. The analysis demonstrates that there is considerable variation in the reports in terms of word length, how particular criteria seem to be applied and how judgements are expressed. With the complexity of the framework for inspection it is impossible, given the current model of inspection report, to properly distinguish between consistency of application and the loading given to any particular criterion. Attention to the transparency of the inspection process and to matters of validity and reliability is crucial if there is to be confidence in the inspection system.

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Published date: 2001
Keywords: validity, reliability, methodology, education, research, educational research, Ofsted, inspection, initial teacher education, initial teacher training, ITE, ITT, mathematics
Organisations: Mathematics, Science & Health Education


Local EPrints ID: 9808
ISSN: 0305-764X
PURE UUID: 103ba67a-09f5-43a5-8a17-f94ea37a59fe
ORCID for Keith Jones: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Oct 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:08

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