Ofsted calls for proof of schools duping inspectors

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman says Ofsted wants to hear if schools are removing pupils during inspection visits

John Roberts

Ofsted wants evidence of children being removed during Ofsted inspections

Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman has said people with evidence of schools removing pupils on days when they are being inspected should report this to her.

During a phone-in with LBC radio this morning, she said that Ofsted was "really concerned" about reports of children being removed from schools during inspections, but said it was "very hard to prove".

The issue was raised after a caller said her child had ADHD, and that the school had sent some pupils home before 9am on the days when Ofsted inspectors visited.

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LBC host Nick Ferrari asked Ofsted’s chief inspector: "Are you aware that possibly some schools don’t allow some pupils with certain conditions in because your teams are in place?"

Ms Spielman responded to say that this is something that Ofsted was "really concerned about".

Mr Ferrari said: “You are aware its going on?”

She replied: “We hear about it anecdotally but its very hard to prove.”

Ms Spielman added that anyone who wanted to report this taking place at a school should contact her and Ofsted about it.

Ofsted has repeatedly vowed to tackle schools looking to game the system through its new inspections.

Ms Spielman has said previously that the new Ofsted inspection framework, aimed at giving more weight to the school curriculum and focusing less on exam results, would be a “shot across the bows” for schools that were gaming the system to get results.

The inspectorate has also pledged a crackdown on off-rolling – where a school permanently removes a pupil from its roll without a formal exclusion – and when this is being done in the interest of the school rather than the student.

During the LBC interview today Ms Spielman said that the new Ofsted inspection framework, which launched in September, was focused on the integrity of schools.

She added : “It’s about making sure people are doing the right things for the right children for the right reasons.”

When asked how Ofsted could achieve this, she added: “By getting underneath the numbers, not just taking the numbers at face value.  Saying: ‘How is this happening? What are you doing?  Talk to me about how you are approaching this from the bottom up so we understand really well and have a proper professional conversation.”

She said early feedback from schools about the new inspection framework was encouraging.

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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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