Ofsted return may mean changes to school inspections

Inspectorate says it is carefully considering what form its inspections will take when it does return to schools, and makes no mention of January comeback
5th November 2020, 10:20pm

Share

Ofsted return may mean changes to school inspections

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/ofsted-return-may-mean-changes-school-inspections
Ofsted Has Said It Is Considering What Form Its Inspections Should Take When It Returns To Schools.

Ofsted has said that it is carefully considering what form its inspections will take when it does return to schools.

The inspectorate has been under increasing pressure to abandon the idea of resuming full inspections in two months' time given the rising cases of Covid-19.

Ofsted and the Department for Education have previously both consistently said that routine inspection is scheduled to return in January next year but that this is being kept under review.

When asked today if this was still the case Ofsted said that the timing of their return was under review but did not mention January in its statement.


Heads: Resuming Ofsted inspections in January is 'now unthinkable'

Covid: Ofsted moves its autumn school visits online during national lockdown

Campaign: Thinktank head urges school leaders not to work as inspectors if Ofsted tries to return during Covid


An Ofsted spokesperson said: "We're carefully considering how we return to inspection. The timing remains under review, as does the form any inspection would take".

The statement appears to suggest that when does Ofsted return it may make changes to the way it inspects schools.

There is increasing controversy over the prospect of Ofsted resuming inspection duties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This week Stephen Tierney, the chair of the Headteachers' Roundtable thinktank group, said that if Ofsted was "dozy enough" to return to inspection during this academic year then school leaders should refuse to work for them as inspectors - reviving the group's Pause Ofsted campaign, which was launched before the Covid crisis.

And Frank Norris, a former Ofsted official and academy director, said today that the inspectorate's existing framework will have no relevance to the challenges facing schools when the watchdog does return after Covid-19.

There was also controversy last week as it emerged that a London primary was understood to have closed after an Ofsted inspector tested positive for Covid-19 following a visit to the school.

The Department for Education said that the plan was still for Ofsted to return in January.

A DfE spokesperson said: "The plan is for inspections to restart from January 2021, but this is being kept under review."

The DfE has previously said that when inspections do resume Ofsted inspectors "will be sensitive to schools' circumstances and the enormous challenges presented by Covid-19".

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters