Commenting on plans by Ofsted to increase the time in which a short school inspection becomes a full inspection from 48 hours to anything up to 15 working days, Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT says: “Short inspections were welcomed by school leaders as a step towards reducing the burden associated with inspection. These proposals could have the opposite effect. Huge pressure would be loaded on to staff in the weeks between short and full inspection. It will be akin to extending the period of inspection from three days to over three weeks. This hardly reduces the burden.
“Ofsted are now saying that the logistics of short inspection are untenable. The solution to this issue may not be obvious to Ofsted but the answer cannot be loading more pressure on to school leaders. In potentially solving one problem, by creating greater certainty for inspectors over working patterns, another much bigger problem would be created, that of equity. If one school is given three weeks to put in place changes, and another just a few days, can we really say the inspection system is being fair.
“This proposal is to be consulted on, giving school leaders the chance to highlight the problems behind such a change. We welcome the open way in which Ofsted is consulting on this, but question whether our inspection system should be driven by administrative convenience, rather than what is best for our schools.”
Page Published: 15/06/2017