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'No notice' inspections could threaten self-improving school system
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NAHT: ‘no notice’ inspections could threaten self-improving school system

School leaders’ union NAHT has raised concerns that the introduction of widespread ‘no notice’ school inspections could halt the self-improving school system in its tracks. 

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to call for Ofsted to introduce ‘no-notice’ inspections following the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ investigations. 

However, Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT said that in most cases, the move would be unnecessary and could even be counter-productive in terms of school improvement. Mr Hobby said: “As Michael Gove has acknowledged in the past, it is important that heads are present during the inspection of their school; not least because they are being inspected too. With ‘no notice’ inspections few head teachers could leave their schools to support other schools. Our system depends on this activity. 

“Heads also need to answer questions and produce data on demand. As Ofsted has abandoned standard formats for plans and data, this is more pressing than ever.  

“We fully accept that Ofsted should be able to arrive unannounced if it has serious concerns about safeguarding. Ofsted already has this power. Freezing the rest of the education system is not the answer: better local oversight can spot emerging problems and tell us when an emergency visit may be needed.” 

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Page Published: 09/06/2014