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Ofsted should inspect outstanding schools too, say heads

Outstanding schools should not be exempt from Ofsted inspections, headteachers' leaders have argued.

At present, schools with the watchdog’s top rating are not routinely visited by inspectors unless there is a particular cause for concern.

Under plans currently being consulted on, Ofsted has proposed subjecting good schools to a shorter monitoring inspection every three years.  

The NAHT headteachers' union, however, has called for outstanding schools to receive these inspections as well.

The union also said that institutions should be inspected by someone with relevant experience in their sector, and that a separate grade should be given for the “breadth and balance” of a school or college’s curriculum.

However, another headteachers’ union, the Association of School and College Leaders, has opposed the notion of grading the curriculum separately. The move, its submission argues, “could imply compliance with a set view of an imposed curriculum which may not be in the best interests of individual students”.

The consultation on Ofsted’s proposals to introduce shorter monitoring inspections for good schools closes today.

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said Ofsted’s plans for reform were “sensible” but “do not go far enough in correcting the troubled relationship between the profession and its inspectorate”.

He also called for governance and school leadership – “two very distinct roles” – to be graded separately.

Related stories:

Ofsted data reveals 'weakness and inconsistency' of inspections, headteachers say - November 2014

‘Ofsted and the DfE must take a look at themselves before analysing how we manage our workload’ - November 2014

Ofsted is 'unlikely to win any popularity contests', Wilshaw says 31 October 2014

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