@Ofstednews accelerates inspections for schools and further education providers
Ofsted has been asked by government to inspect all schools and further education (FE) providers by summer 2025, to give a quicker assessment of how well education is recovering from the pandemic.
Without this acceleration, funded through the government’s Spending Review, it would have taken a further year for all schools and college inspections to be completed.
This will mean parents and learners will get up-to-date assurance about the quality of education that their children or they are receiving. Schools, colleges and other FE providers will receive timely information to inform their improvement plans.
Beginning with last term’s inspections, all schools and FE providers will be inspected at least once by summer 2025.
All college inspections from September 2022 up to September 2025 will be full, graded inspections; these are expected to be enhanced to take account of local skills needs. Schools will continue to receive either graded or ungraded inspections depending on their circumstances, as they do now.
Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector said:
“Schools and colleges have worked tirelessly to teach and support children and learners, at a time when their education has been seriously disrupted.
“Children only get one chance at school. Everyone working in education must do everything they can to give this generation the best possible chance to fulfil its potential.
“Ofsted will play its part – by giving parents and learners up to date information, and by helping schools and colleges shape their plans. I’m pleased that we will now be able to reach all schools, colleges and apprenticeship providers by summer 2025.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:
“Nobody underestimates the scale of the challenge schools, colleges and other education providers have experienced through the pandemic.
“But it has also provided an opportunity to build back better and fairer, doubling down on our mission to make sure every child has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
“Accelerating the rate of Ofsted inspections over the coming years will provide parents with an up-to-date picture and swifter recognition of the hard work of leaders and teachers.”
Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“Given the pressure schools are currently under and the recent calls to pause inspections this term, the announcement today of more to come feels completely tone-deaf.
“Schools have adapted with the times to respond to the impact of Covid, but Ofsted appear to be stuck in the past – dusting off a pre-pandemic inspection framework with little recognition that the world around them has changed.
“We are still a very long way from business as usual in schools. Ofsted seems to be unwilling to properly take into account the very significant challenges schools are still facing, as well as the impact Covid has had.
“Rather than thinking about how it can increase the number of inspections that take place, Ofsted should be concentrating on how best to support and inspect schools in a post-lockdown world, helping them focus on ensuring educational recovery for every child, and ensuring that schools are happy, safe spaces for pupils.
“When it comes to inspection, more of the same is an inadequate response to the challenges of today.”
Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“Inadequate inspections, whether accelerated or not, will not give parents confidence about school and college quality. Acceleration will require the recruitment of additional inspectors – adding to the considerable concern already expressed by school leaders about the quality of the current inspectorate.
“Government ministers are showing, yet again, that they have no understanding of the exhaustion and stress felt by teachers and leaders. Inspection adds hugely to the stress they face coping with high rates of Covid infection in schools and college and with an inspectorate which has failed to understand, or appreciate, that Covid is still causing huge problems in our education system.”
Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“We have to say that the government has some strange ideas about the priority for education recovery.
“It isn’t Ofsted inspections that will help children to catch-up with lost learning caused by the pandemic but ensuring that schools and colleges have sufficient funding from the government to deliver recovery programmes at the scale required.
“However, the government hasn’t committed anything like the level of investment which is needed for this task, although it has managed to find an extra £23.85 million to spend on inspections.
“At the moment, many schools and colleges are still dealing with the disruption caused by the pandemic, and the prospect of also having to deal with a visit from an inspection team isn’t particularly helpful.”Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in