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Coronavirus update (15 March)

A message from NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman sent Sunday 15 March 2020. 

Update on deferring Ofsted inspections

You may have seen over the weekend that Ofsted has updated their deferral guidance to reflect the current situation. They have also been commenting on this guidance publicly.

Ofsted have made it clear that they will proactively ask if a school would like a deferral and will look on all requests favourably. The chief inspector has said that she wants personal sign-off on any decision not to defer.

I think we can take this to mean that you can expect a request for deferral to be granted, unless there are exceptional circumstances e.g. serious safeguarding concerns.

Our advice is that if you receive a call notifying you of inspection, you simply say: “In line with the recent announcements from Ofsted I would like to request that this inspection be deferred. We are currently dealing with a unprecedented situation when it comes to the Coronavirus, and our attention has to be focused on the health and safety of the pupils and staff at this time.”

Tomorrow I will be meeting with the Secretary of State for Education and I will be pressing him to go further and cancel all inspections for the foreseeable future.

First published 15 March 2020