Ofsted 'won't judge schools on coronavirus response'

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman also says that full school inspections are unlikely to resume before the end of summer term

Coronavirus: Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman says schools will not be judged on education provision amid the coronavirus crisis

Ofsted has "no expectations" regarding how schools should respond to coronavirus, chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman has told the Commons’ Education Select Committee.

Speaking to MPs this morning in a video-conference meeting broadcast publicly on Parliament TV, Ms Spielman said there was “no structure of home-learning by which we can judge schools” and that home and online learning was a “very imperfect subject".

Schools will not be judged retrospectively on how they have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in a process that would “put everyone on the spot” and “find everyone wanting”, added Ms Spielman.

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"There are no expectations around what schools should be doing on the education front" during this time, she said.

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Asked by committee chair Robert Halfon how Ofsted would deal with a backlog of inspections and prioritise which schools should be inspected, Ms Spielman said it would depend on “how schools reopened” and what arrangements were in place.

She said there was a “lack of certainty about phasing” but added that she did not expect full inspections to resume before the end of the summer term.

She said there would need to be “a model that balanced social distancing and shielding” when inspections resumed.

She said school closures would pose a problem for the “poorest, lowest-achieving and least motivated children”, but added: “Children are very resilient creatures and studies show most will bounce back as soon as they return to the normal experience of school.”

Ms Spielman said: “Teachers at the moment, in this period of great uncertainty, are dealing with a lot of uncertainty and anxiety and doing the job as best they can.”

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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