Ofsted 'visits' to go online during national lockdown

Ofsted has confirmed it will undertake school visits “remotely” during the national lockdown.

In a Twitter post this evening, the inspectorate said the programme of autumn visits across school and colleges will be done remotely from Thursday.

The post added: “During the national lockdown we will undertake our work remotely where we can – only going on site where it is necessary to do so, or in response to urgent concerns.”

The watchdog has faced resistance from unions over its visits, where inspectors visit mostly ‘inadequate’ schools to talk to leaders about their provision during the pandemic. While grades aren’t awarded, the watchdog does publish letters summarising the visit.

Full inspections are due to restart in January, but it’s not clear whether that intention will remain following this weekend’s announcement of a full national lockdown during November.