In what looks like touch of backtracking, Ofsted have today announced that their proposal for “no-notice” inspections has been scrapped in favour of notice being given to heads the afternoon before inspection. The intention is to provide schools with the opportunity to inform parents and “make logistical arrangements”.
The original proposal for no-notice inspections was highly controversial with a general feeling amongst teachers that Ofsted was trying to catch them out. As the current system allows for two days notice, what the removal of 36 hours is supposed to achieve is unclear. Ofsted’s original reasoning was that schools attempt to portray a stronger impression by sending “bad” pupils home prior to inspection. If this practice was a risk with two days notice, it is not significantly less of a risk with half day notice.
What the change does do is limit the time Heads and the SLT are afforded to “make logistical arrangements”, putting them under unnecessary pressure prior to inspection. With confidence in Ofsted already low amongst teachers, this latest change will do nothing to improve their standing across the profession.
Posted by Dai Durbridge, who specialises in advising schools, academies and other education providers on all pastoral matters. Recognised leader in safeguarding law, with a specific interest in the vetting and barring scheme; also defends claims made against education, and social care providers.
0115 976 6578