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Ofsted tells inspectors to welcome senior leaders' support for subject leads


​NAHT is pressing both Ofsted and the Department for Education (DfE) through formal and informal channels on the negative impacts of the new inspection framework that members have reported.

In response to a letter from Paul Whiteman, the Chief Inspector has confirmed that her inspectors have been instructed to:

  • avoid conducting deep-dives in subjects which are led by the same member of staff
  • welcome any senior leader that wishes to support subject leaders in curriculum discussions
  • be flexible and avoid causing undue disruption to the work of a school.

Therefore, school leaders should not be prevented from supporting subject leaders, or from engaging in discussions with inspectors alongside the subject lead.  

In addition, Ofsted has reaffirmed that inspection does not scrutinise or judge individual teachers or subject leaders. 

Inspectors should conclude their work in school by 6pm.

We advise members to familiarise themselves with NAHT's guidance which is available here.  This page also includes NAHT's response to guidance issued to subject leaders by NEU.

If you have concerns about an inspector's conduct, or about the security of the judgements that inspectors are reaching, it is critical to raise your concerns during the inspection.  Do not wait until after the inspection is completed.

We advise that concerns are raised with the lead inspector initially.  Be sure to seek help and support from the NAHT helpline on 0300 30 30 333. 

First published 20 January 2020