Unannounced Ofsted inspections

  • Ofsted inspectors to enter schools unannounced – Daily Mail, 10 Jan 2012
  • Michael Gove in u-turn over unannounced Ofsted inspections – The Guardian, 5 May 2012

In January, it was revealed Ofsted would carry out unannounced school inspections.

The Daily Mail reported:

Schools are facing no-notice spot checks from Ofsted in a move which will effectively prevent teachers from ‘hiding’ unruly pupils from inspectors.

Inspectors will start making unannounced visits later this year in a bid to get a true picture of performance in schools.

The system shake-up comes less than a week after allegations surfaced claiming that some disruptive pupils are being bribed up to £100 to stay away from lessons during Ofsted inspections.

All schools will face the no-notice inspections from this autumn, the new Ofsted chief announced today.

Education secretary Michael Gove has now signalled a u-turn on no notice visits, as The Guardian reports:

In an apparent concession to school leaders, Gove suggested that Ofsted’s proposals for no-notice visits could be dropped.

Addressing the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) annual conference in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, the minister acknowledged there was a perception that Ofsted has become “an arm of the Spanish Inquisition”, storming in to deal with problems.

He told delegates there was a particular concern that “people fear it [no-notice inspection] sends a message that we don’t trust the profession, that Ofsted has become an arm of the Spanish Inquisition or Sean Connery’s Untouchables, that they have to be ready to storm in without any notice in order to deal with something that has gone drastically wrong. That was never the intention.”

Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw announced proposals for no-notice inspections in January, saying it was vital that the public has “absolute confidence” in the integrity of inspections.

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