Question of the week: no-notice inspections

The Key

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Is Ofsted continuing with no-notice inspections?

There has been a lot of speculation in the aftermath of the “Trojan Horse” affair about Ofsted introducing no-notice inspections for all schools, and we have seen a flurry of no-notice inspections across the country in recent months.

This article may help to put school leaders’ minds at ease, by making clear that Ofsted will not move to routinely inspecting all schools without notice. However, it may not be too comforting as it explains that Ofsted does intend to use no-notice inspections more widely where specific concerns are raised (for example, about safeguarding, or the breadth of the curriculum).

Notably, 23 of the 35 schools that received snap inspections in September and October 2014 were downgraded, and three of them went in one fell swoop from ‘outstanding‘ to ‘inadequate’.  These figures appear to justify the need for no-notice inspections, although they also pose wider questions about the quality of the original inspections and how frequently school inspections should take place.

Members of The Key’s school leader service can read our answer here.

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