OFSTED is sending new guidance to Registered inspectors intended to reduce the burden for everyone involved, and help them "respond sensitively to the way primary schools are organised".
It says: "In a good inspection, inspectors will adapt to the organisation and programme of the school".Class timetables should reflect the normal programme of work. Periods of classroom observation are likely to vary in length and must be adequate to gather sufficient evidence to make judgments.
"Every effort should be made to avoid classes being visited by a succession of inspectors, each seeking evidence solely in their own area of interest, " says the guidance. It also suggests that , where possible, one inspector could talk to a teacher about all her school-wide responsibilities.
Inspectors should also: provide an indication of points which are likely to be raised during interviews; request only current documents and tell heads that where gaps exist they may provide brief statements of practice; and give an outline of evidence that will be looked at.
OFSTED suggests that inspectors provide the school with an overall plan of activities, including negotiated meetings with staff, and agree a system of daily debriefing with the head. OFSTED is also issuing guidance on writing more user-friendly reports for parents.