More than 100 schools have not had a full inspection for almost a decade, TES can reveal, prompting fears that too much time is being allowed to pass between inspectors’ visits.
According to official data from the inspectorate, 115 schools last underwent a full inspection in 2006. And more than 600 outstanding schools have not been visited by inspectors for seven years or more.
Since 2012, schools rated outstanding by the watchdog have been exempt from routine inspection. Former education secretary Michael Gove said the move would free the best schools from the “burden” of inspection.
But school leaders said the new figures were cause for concern and warned that leaving schools for too long without outside assessment put standards at risk.
Combs Infant School in Derbyshire is one of the two schools that have been waiting the longest for a section 5 inspection. Its last full inspection took place in September 2006, and headteacher Rosemary Cook said the situation was a “double-edged sword”.
“It’s great being left alone to get on with the job, but also a stress for staff and governors as we await the phone call on a daily basis,” she added.
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Ofsted: more frequent inspections on way for good schools and colleges – 3 February 2015
Ofsted announces another U-turn on no-notice inspections– 9 October 2014
Ofsted launches wave of no-notice school inspections– 15 September 2014