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Nasty shock to the system

School inspection is 10-years-old and is now much more a professional partnership. However, the draft framework to run from September 2003 is in danger of wiping out all this progress as it states that teachers must not be told which lessons will be observed.

As a registered inspector, I want to see teachers at their best and to engage in a worthwhile dialogue. Consequently, I always indicate when they might be seen and negotiate timetable changes to follow up emerging issues. This transparent approach has not compromised my ability to identify and discuss strengths and weaknesses in teaching and pupils' learning.

Teachers have said they find this approach similar to observations undertaken by senior colleagues. To revert to surprise tactics with teachers continually on the alert is disrespectful, stressful and not conducive to professional development - an important part of inspection!

Registered inspector

Name and address supplied

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