"I put my hand up, I am one of those heads who would find lots of things for people to do ahead of an inspection but, if anything, I needed to tell people to back off a bit," he said.
His staff's pride in their work at the 2,200-pupil Bexleyheath secondary school in south-east London drove them to put in the extra hours ahead of the inspection in September which it passed.
But Mr Noble hopes that the new warts-and-all inspections will prevent staff feeling they have to rack up the hours in evenings and weekends to show off their school in its best light.
"This will have a significant effect in reducing the bureaucratic pressures in schools," he says.
He argues it will also reduce the chance of a post-inspection slip in standards when tired teachers pause for breath after weeks of intensive preparation.
Bexleyheath's inspection, its first for five-and-a-half years, lasted for five days and involved 21 inspectors, a scale unlikely to be repeated under the proposed framework.
Mr Noble believes the new lighter touch, with more stress on self-evaluation will give heads and governors a clearer idea of where they stand.
"Staff will need training on how to make best use of self-evaluation but if this is done properly it will have benefits.
"It will either show schools that their annual self-evaluation is correct and that they are working on the right issues or show their self-evaluation is not right and the inspectors will be back to check in more detail," he said.
"Who can really complain about being inspected once every three years?"