Ofsted will not inspect schools on strike days

But heads’ union says there should be no Ofsted school inspections at all during weeks in which there are strikes
24th January 2023, 5:03pm

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Ofsted will not inspect schools on strike days

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/ofsted-will-not-inspect-schools-teacher-strike-days
Ofsted will not inspect schools on strike days

School inspections and notifications of inspections will not take place on strike days in February and March, Ofsted has said.

However, a school leaders’ union is calling on the watchdog to pause all inspections during strike weeks, to allow heads the “time and space to manage the implications of industrial action”.

The inspectorate has said it will schedule school inspection notifications and on-site inspections to avoid strike days.

While Ofsted wants “to maintain school inspection activity as far as possible”, it says strikes “will have an impact on schools, and the full impact might not be known until the day”.

But, if there is no strike scheduled in a region, then inspections will carry on as normal.

In guidance published last week, the Department for Education said that as “with any other possible disruption to a school”, Ofsted inspectors “will take a view as to whether there is sufficient activity taking place to enable it to conduct an inspection of the school” on strike days.

However, the inspectorate has now confirmed that no inspections will take place on these strike days. 

Ofsted also said its usual deferral policy will remain in place and any deferral requests made as a result of strike action will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ofsted announcement on teacher strikes

The inspectorate “will monitor the situation during this first wave of action in February and review if necessary for future dates”.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said he welcomed Ofsted’s decision, but that it needed to go further.

“It is our view that there should be no inspections at all during strike weeks,” he said.

“School and college leaders must be allowed the time and space to manage the implications of industrial action without the additional pressure of an inspection that could be done at another time and under more typical circumstances. We will be making this case to Ofsted.”

In England strikes have been proposed across six dates. 

The NEU teaching union announced last Monday that teachers would go on strike from 1 February after 90 per cent of teacher members voted for strike action in a ballot turnout of 53 per cent. 

Calendar graphic showing NEU proposed strike dates Wednesday 1 February 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.  Tuesday 14 February 2023: all eligible members in Wales.  Tuesday 28 February 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.  Wednesday 1 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.  Thursday 2 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: London,


These strike dates in England are: 1 February, 28 February, 1 March, 2 March, 15 March and 16 March 2023.

Ofsted does not operate in Wales.

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