Ofsted to investigate rumours of schools hiding unruly students from inspectors on ‘conveniently timed school trips’

The Independent is reporting that Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, will use a speech to address the “constant rumours” she hears of schools covering up poor behaviour by sending unruly pupils away during inspections.

She will commit to an assessment of the “problem” at the Festival of Education at Wellington College on Thursday.

Ofsted will also look to talk to a wider range of school staff – such as trainees, newly qualified teachers and lunchtime supervisors – who are more likely to be exposed to poor behaviour.

But headteachers have said it is “just rumours” and have said it would be very difficult for school leaders to arrange for children to be absent with short notice of inspections.

Speaking at the conference, Ms Spielman will say she wants inspectors to focus more on behaviour in schools including “low level disruption” – such as swinging on chairs and talking in class.

“There is nothing kind about letting a few pupils spoil school for everyone else. That is why we expect heads to put in place strong policies that support their staff in tackling poor behaviour.”

“I want us to look just as hard at low level disruption, which stops pupils learning and which can make the job of classroom management miserable,” she will say.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: “Schools get less than a day’s notice of inspection, so it is extremely unlikely that a school trip for a group of unruly pupils could be organised in that time in order for the school to avoid their behaviour being scrutinised.”

Read more Ofsted to investigate rumours of schools hiding unruly students from inspectors on ‘conveniently timed school trips’

Have you heard the rumours about ‘conveniently timed school trips’? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. Anonymous

    So we can draw two conclusions:

    1. Spielman is so out of touch that she genuinely believes a school can organise a school trip in the time available and, if they were able to manage this impossible task, that no pupil in the school would tell the inspectors.

    2. Spielman is playing to the gallery by spreading ridiculous rumours.

    Take your pick.

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