Ofsted has reassured schools that inspectors will not be joining pupils’ live lessons as “the norm” during its remote monitoring inspections this term.

New guidance last week said inspectors could join online lessons to “understand how education is being provided by the school”.

The announcement prompted concern from teachers who feared that the practice would heap pressure on staff delivering remote learning.

However, an Ofsted spokesperson clarified that “when inspectors need to observe remote education in action, they will generally view pre-recorded material”.

They added that sometimes inspectors might view live lessons “because the school has requested them to, but this won’t be the norm”.

Ofsted began its remote inspections this week after changing its plans to conduct inspections in person.

Elsewhere, the guidance said inspectors might also have discussions, either remotely or in person, with staff and pupils about their work and experiences.

But when inspectors needed to speak to pupils, “it will be those who are onsite, in school … and inspectors will not be speaking to pupils in their home as part of normal inspection activity”.

Ofsted said the focus of the monitoring inspection was to assure parents and support school improvement.