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How to cheat in inspections

Staff at Oldham College are preparing to stand to attention by their beds as they await the latest inspection by Ofsted.

While they are getting the place ready, they might want to redecorate the David Bellis building - which has its title in large silver letters along the side.

A tiny lick of paint, and it could soon be transformed to honour Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools, David Bell - sure to concentrate the minds of his minions as they consider whether to risk associating his name with anything less than an excellent inspection report.

Or the college might like to use a more subtle wheeze-widely credited to the creative brain of Sir George Sweeney, Knowsley College principal and red-tape-busting champion.

The scam goes like this.

Tell your students that, if an inspector appears at your lesson, you are going to ask them a few particularly challenging questions.

Brief them in advance that, if they know the answer to the question, they should raise their right hand. If they don't know the answer, they should raise their left. The inspector will thus be dazzled by a sea of hands from what appears to be a classroom full of eager students who can take anything you throw at them. Top grades all round.

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