Ofsted

DfE considering ‘accelerated inspections’ to help Ofsted tackle Covid backlog

schools white paper


Gavin Williamson has revealed the government is looking to accelerate the timetable for Ofsted inspections in order to address the backlog of schools due a visit.

The education secretary was questioned by the Parliamentary education committee this morning on the possibility of speeding up the process for schools left waiting for inspections, which were suspended when Covid hit last year.

David Johnston, the Conservative MP for Wantage, explained that some schools in his constituency were “living on an old Ofsted judgement where they know they’ve improved and it would help their admissions if they could show that improvement”.

OfstedOfsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman appeared before the committee last week and raised concerns about the length of time between inspections for ‘outstanding’ schools.

These schools were previously exempt from inspections, however the immunity was removed in October last year following a consultation.

Johnston added that Spielman raised concerns over some schools going without inspection for 14 years and “her view when I put this question to her was they could accelerate the timetable for Ofsted inspections if they were directed to by government.”

DfE considering ‘accelerated inspections’

Williamson said the Department for Education (DfE)  “would certainly be looking at a whole range of different options including accelerated inspection.”

He added Johnston was “right to highlight” the need for schools to progress out of lower grades and the lack of inspections in outstanding schools.

The education secretary said the government will now be “looking very closely” at what “further action we can take to ensure that schools are best supported by Ofsted” as the sector moves out of the pandemic.

Ofsted suspended full graded inspections in March 2020 when the pandemic struck, but they are due to resume in September.

A previous Schools Week investigation revealed that more than 100 schools have been ignored by Ofsted for over a decade.



More from this theme

Ofsted

Ofsted to review tutoring and teachers’ professional development reforms

Watchdog tasked by government with reviewing two key catch-up policies

Freddie Whittaker
Ofsted

Ofsted expansion hangs in spending review balance

Questions over pledge from 2019 to extend inspections

James Carr
Covid, Ofsted

Schools ‘prioritised’ food parcels over remote learning, and 4 other things we learned from Ofsted

Schools’ focus on making food parcels and visiting disadvantaged pupils in the first lockdown may have affected their “capacity”...

James Carr
Ofsted

Ofsted to visit more MATs when evaluations restart

Watchdog says smaller and specialist trusts will now face visits

John Dickens
Ofsted

Harford: ‘Longer Ofsted inspections could reduce anxiety for schools’

In his final interview as Ofsted’s national director of education, Sean Harford talks to Schools Week about the future...

James Carr
Ofsted

Ofsted: Councils won’t get heads-up on ‘inadequate’ judgements

Ofsted will no longer notify local authorities of provisional inadequate judgements of their maintained schools and academies. But the...

James Carr

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *