Does accountability dominate school activity and influence school culture? To what extent is it distorting teaching and learning? Is it narrowing what is taught and causing "teaching to the test"?

Accountability is an expectation that the consequences of someone's actions will be examined and accepted by an authorised person or authority.

Quality assurance is defined as “the maintenance of a desired level of quality in a service or product, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process of delivery or production.”

In schools, accountability is used to ensure consistency, high standards and clarity in teaching and learning.

Issues with QA

Joe Kirby calls for QA in schools to be dismantled as it "warps time, trust, thinking, leadership and learning". Kirby describes QA in comparative terms wth trepanation ("a medical-mystical treatment from 7,000 years ago"). Kirby's concerns are that QA:

Instead, Kirby argues that CPD is better than QA and suggests:

Intelligent Accountability

David Didau proposes what he calls "intelligent accountability". Didau believes that accountability "helps to promote ethical and responsible behaviour", "promotes fairness and justice" and "elps to build trust and credibility":

Didau also argues:

We should acknowledge that some teachers are much more experienced and knowledgeable than others and that it’s a mistake to ignore this and treat all teachers as the same. Equally, we should be explicit that autonomy must be earned and until it is, less experienced, less effective teachers may be subject to more constraints than their colleagues.