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No notice Ofsted inspections – a logical progression?

12 January 2012

Ofsted’s new chief has announced the current two day notice before an inspection is set to be replaced with a no notice system for inspections for all schools in England from autumn.

Some schools believe these changes are a result of recent claims that schools attempt to portray a stronger impression during Ofsted inspections by sending “bad” pupils home or drafting in staff from other schools. There are also concerns that shorter or no notice inspections may stop schools properly engaging with the inspection process.

Ofsted has carried out 1,500 no notice inspections over the last 18 months and defends the new system by assuring that the sole aim is to provide a true picture of school performance. Schools should be able to trust the inspection process but no notice inspections may just aggravate the feeling that Ofsted is trying to catch them out.

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