Heads vow to challenge Johnson's no notice Ofsted plan

NAHT also warns new government that education has become a 'public service in crisis'

John Roberts

Lesson inspection

Head teachers' leaders have vowed to challenge Boris Johnson’s new government over plans to bring in no notice Ofsted inspections.

Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the NAHT headteachers union, also said it would encourage the government to back education which he described as a “public service in crisis.”

During the election campaign education secretary Gavin Williamson announced plans to pilot no notice Ofsted inspections and to increase the length of inspections of secondary and large primary schools to three days.

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Reacting to the Conservative Party’s victory in last night’s election  Mr Whiteman said: "Now that the heat of the election campaign is over, we will encourage the government be full square behind education. It is a public service in crisis that needs support.”

He added: "Under the previous Conservative administration, we have made progress on accountability and on reducing testing in the primary phase. We need to go further, and I believe we will.

"Where we feel that the Conservatives’ manifesto promises don’t go far enough, we will continue to encourage them to do more. Acting on child poverty must be a priority, for example. Where the government are planning to go too far – no-notice inspections, for instance – we will challenge them.

"Nothing is more important for the long-term success of the nation than the education we provide to our young people. Now is the time to shelve election rhetoric, listen to the profession, and establish the support that is needed and deliver it well."

At the start of the election campaign, NAHT set out its main priorities for education. 

These included reversing real-terms cuts since 2010 and creating “a proportionate, reliable and fair inspection that schools and parents can have confidence in.”

The Conservatives said during the campaign that they would give Ofsted an extra £10m towards training and deploying more inspectors.

Mr Williamson  said the extra day of school inspection would be focused on  a school's approach to behaviour, bullying and its extra curricular offer.

These plans to bolster Ofsted were not part of the Conservative manifesto but were announced by Mr Williamson and Mr Johnson after it was published.

Labour had planned to replace Ofsted had it won last night’s election.

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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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