A crossed wires misfire

1st December 2006 at 00:00
Headteadhers everywhere bemoan the short notice they are sometimes given of nerve-racking Ofsted inspections.

But they should spare a thought for one school last week, where a bungle by a receptionist led to the site manager being the only person to expect a visit.

And even he failed to pass the message on. After all, he had received a call from reception warning him that BT would be coming to do an inspection. Why would anyone else in the school be interested in the phone lines?

So, in blissful ignorance, the headteacher was on a train travelling to a course in London when his frantic deputy rang to tell him Ofsted had suddenly turned up to complete their inspection.

The head leapt off at the next station and rushed back, just in time to find the team of inspectors calling in on lessons and giving the school a thorough going over.

The school has since been looking into the communications breakdown. Why had the receptionist misheard the company of inspectors as a phone company, exposing the school to potential disaster?

Could it be that the inspectors were from CfBT, one of the five regional inspection companies?

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