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Ofsted to seek views on overhaul of inspections

Ofsted will be asking teachers to comment on its proposals for future inspections as it launches a new consultation later this week. 

The watchdog has been signalling its intention to overhaul the way it inspects schools since the spring.

And on Thursday, Her Majesty’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw will spell out his plans, which are likely to include proposals to bring in shorter but more frequent inspections for good and outstanding schools, and routine no-notice inspections. 

It is thought that the consultation could also reconsider the emphasis placed on English and maths in primary schools in the interests of ensuring that schools provide a “broad and balanced” curriculum, as revealed by TES last month.

Speaking to TES at the start of this academic year, Sir Michael gave an insight into his plans for checks on good and outstanding schools, adding that he wanted to bring an end to the “cliff edge, boom and bust” inspections that currently take place. 

“There’s no point in sending teams of inspectors to inspect when we have all the data and information on those schools,” he said. “We will go into good schools more regularly and have a dialogue with the heads and the teachers, but we’ll have masses of data, which will tell us about progress and outcomes and performance-related pay.

“Where we see a steep decline, where things are really unravelling, then we’ll call for a full section 5 inspection. But if the head is aware there’s a problem and has a plan to sort it out, then it won’t go into ‘requires improvement’. There will be a lot less boom-and-bust, cliff-edge inspection.”

The consultation could also seek input on proposals to keep lesson observations in FE colleges.

Related stories: 

Ofsted may end focus on English and maths - 19 September 2014

Ofsted: Shorter and more frequent check-ups for 'good' schools in overhaul of inspections - 21 March 2014

‘Force schools to join clusters’, Wilshaw says - 5 September 2014

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