Ofsted could give schools just 150 minutes’ notice

Schools could get little more than 150 minutes’ notice before Ofsted inspectors arrive under plans for its new inspection framework, Tes can reveal.

Ofsted is understood to be keen to ensure that it has an opportunity to see schools as they really are. But the news has angered a teachers’ leader who says schools should have at least 24 hours’ notice before inspectors visit them.

Tes understands that the controversial new plans would see inspectors contacting a school by telephone before 10am and then arriving after 12.30pm on the same day.

The new regime could make a big practical difference to heads. But it would not require Ofsted to reduce the formal notice period it gives schools, because the actual inspection will not start until following day.

Mary Bousted, National Education Union joint general secretary said: “If this is what Ofsted proposes then I think school leaders will be concerned by it.

“Given the scale of change that Ofsted is proposing with its new framework  I think it is only common courtesy for school leaders to be given at least 24 hours before visiting to give them time to prepare and collect their thoughts.”

Nick Brook, National Association of Head Teachers deputy general secretary, said: “Moving to a system with only a couple of hours’ notice will send anxiety levels through the roof. It will also ruin their attempts to help other schools as many will not want to be away from their school in the year they are expecting an inspection.

“It is to be hoped that this is just a rumour. There is still a month to go before Ofsted publishes their consultation and a lot can change in that time.”

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman earlier this year told Tes that piloting no-notice inspections was “definitely something we would like to try out”.

She was responding to a YouGov survey, published by Ofsted, in April, which found that 61 per cent of parents supported unannounced visits to schools by the education watchdog.

Read the full article Ofsted could give schools just 150 minutes’ notice

Would you as a teacher or a parent welcome this?  Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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