Exclusive: Heads oppose Ofsted plan for 150 mins inspection notice

Majority of heads also do not want Ofsted short inspections extended to two days, a survey reveals

John Roberts

The majority of school leaders polled oppose plans for Ofsted to arrive on on site at 150 minutes

Most school leaders oppose Ofsted’s plans to arrive earlier and spend more time in schools under its new inspection framework, a new survey shows.

The inspectorate is consulting on plans to give schools little more than 150 minutes notice before a lead inspector arrives on site.

The change being proposed by Ofsted would see an inspector contact a school before 10am and arrive after 12.30pm the day before inspection to start on-site preparations.

However, a new poll of around 1,000 school leaders shows that the majority are against the idea.

In a survey carried out by The Key, 59 per cent of those polled did not support the plan, while 25 per cent gave it their backing.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman told Tes earlier this month that the plan for on-site preparations was to make inspections less driven by data.

She said it was being proposed to give schools the chance to shape the inspection starting the next day through a conversation with the lead inspector.

However, Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary of the NAHT headteachers' union, has said that schools will see the arrival of Ofsted for on-site preparations as the beginning of the inspection.

Ms Spielman said that if the proposal causes more problems than it solves then it will not be pursued.

Headteachers worried about workload

The survey also shows that the majority of school leaders are also opposed to Ofsted’s plan to extend its short inspection of "good" schools from one day to two.

Of those surveyed, 52 per cent opposed the idea of extending short inspections to two days, while 37 per cent supported it.

Amy Cook, the Key’s head of content, said: “Our results show some hesitation about the proposed logistical changes to inspections.

"Some school leaders are also concerned that the framework may actually add to their workload issues, with the proposed ‘on-site preparation’ the day before an inspection a particular source of worry.”

However, school leaders do back the inspectorate’s plan to create a new "quality of education" judgement – focused on curriculum – with 84 per cent supporting the idea in the Key’s poll.

Ofsted launched a 12-week consultation on its new inspection framework earlier this month.

It is set to start inspecting schools under the new framework from September this year.

Ofsted has been approached for comment.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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