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No-notice inspections to start next week in bid to tackle bad behaviour

Ofsted has announced that a series of no-notice inspections will begin next week in a bid to crackdown on poor behaviour in schools.

The watchdog's chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said a “rolling programme” of unannounced visits to schools will start next week to try and tackle what he called “a culture of casual acceptance” of misbehviour.

The move follows Ofsted’s annual report published in December, in which Sir Michael laid out plans for the dawn raids. The report also showed that around 700,000 pupils were attending schools where behaviour needed to improve.

The first schools to be paid a visit by inspection teams will be those where parents have raised concerns, as well as evidence gathered from previous inspections.

The watchdog said that it will look at a range of aspects to judge standards of behaviour in schools, such as assessing the culture of the school, looking at how students interact with each other and the staff. Inspectors will also look at pupils’ behaviour in the classroom, between lessons, during breaks, at lunchtime and even after school.

Where behaviour is deemed to be a continuing problem, a full inspection will be triggered, the inspectorate said.

“Parents want to send their children to schools where they can be confident in the knowledge that behaviour is good," Sir Michael said. "Ofsted is there to champion this cause."

“Headteachers and leadership teams determine the culture of the school and they must ensure that high standards of behaviour are maintained both in and outside the classroom,” he said.

“Good headteachers understand that positive behaviour underpins effective teaching and learning. They make themselves visible and make sure lessons aren’t undermined by a disrespectful attitude towards staff or authority.

“Ofsted is determined to ensure that those who are failing to get a grip on poor behaviour take action to create the right conditions for children to learn.”

Responding to the news, Russell Hobby, general secretary of heads' union NAHT, said: “Exactly what we need in the current climate of fear and uncertainty surrounding Ofsted: more dawn raids and surprise visits!

"Ofsted is unable to maintain the quality and consistency of its current, planned inspections. The last thing it should do is over-reach still further when so many inspections contain basic mistakes.

“The fact of the matter is that behaviour was found to be good or better in 92 per cent of schools at their last inspection. Furthermore, of the many hundreds of thousands of parents with children in maintained schools, last year Ofsted received only 30 complaints that qualified for further investigation. Is this a real concern or a distraction?

“The only crisis in our schools right now is one caused by perpetual interference. This will not help improve behaviour further.”

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