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Ofsted launches wave of no-notice school inspections

Around 40 schools will be targeted in a wave of no-notice inspections across England, Ofsted has announced.

Schools targeted will include those where concerns have been raised about safeguarding, rapidly-declining standards, the curriculum, leadership or governance.

After calling for all schools to be subjected to no-notice inspections in the wake of the “Trojan Horse” investigation into allegations of Islamic extremism in Birmingham schools, chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has announced a fortnight of inspections without the usual half-day notice will take place this month.

The crackdown will be carried out under the inspectorate’s existing powers and will include schools already scheduled for inspections and others where concerns have emerged in recent weeks.

“Parents rightly expect Ofsted inspections to get to the heart of any problems that may exist in a school – whether they are to do with discipline, safeguarding, poor leadership or governance, or a narrow, unbalanced curriculum,” Sir Michael said. “That’s why we’ve expanded the criteria for conducting unannounced inspections for the coming year.

“I’m currently giving thought to whether Ofsted should move to more routine no notice inspections as part of our wider education inspection reforms, which we will be consulting on later this year.

“In the meantime, under our regional structure, inspectors are well placed to use their local knowledge and contacts to identify where these sorts of problems may be taking hold so we can respond swiftly and report publically on what we find.”

More unannounced inspections will be conducted throughout the academic year, Ofsted confirmed.

Ofsted also announced it has revisited the five Birmingham schools placed in special measures in June in the wake of the Trojan Horse investigation, with Sir Michael personally joining the inspection team at Park View Academy to assess the school’s improvement plan. The outcomes of the monitoring inspections will be published “shortly”, according to the watchdog.


Related stories:

Ofsted scraps grades for individual lessons - August 2014

Ofsted must scrap 'quality of teaching' from inspections - July 2014

Ofsted to drop grades for teachers' individual lessons in new trial - June 2014

Ofsted should no longer judge quality of teaching, says former Gove aide - May 2014 


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