Responding to reports that Ofsted is considering reducing the amount of notice schools get before inspections, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “School leaders will not buy the line about ‘on-site preparation’. As the saying goes, ‘if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it’s a duck’. If an inspector is in a school, reviewing documentation and speaking to staff then the inspection has already started.
“Inspection is routinely cited as one of the most stressful situations that a school leader will face. Moving to a system with only a couple of hours’ notice will send anxiety levels through the roof. It will also ruin their attempts to help other schools as many will not want to be away from their school in the year they are expecting an inspection.
“It is to be hoped that this is just a rumour. There is still a month to go before Ofsted publishes their consultation and a lot can change in that time. What may have seemed a good idea last month may still never see the light of day next. It would be unfortunate if this proposal were to overshadow discussion of many of the potentially positive changes to the inspection framework that have been trailed over recent months.”
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