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Is a no-notice inspection really 'no notice'?

Discussion in 'Ofsted inspections' started by NQT1986, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    We had Ofsted last July and got a 'Good', but our head has warned us that he's certain we'll get a no-notice inspection soon as our Y6s haven't reached their targets.

    I don't know anyone who has had one of these. Do they still last for two days? Do they literally just arrive one morning without a phonecall?

    Will they make a comparison with schools/lessons/teachers who have had 2-4 days to prepare? Although ideally past observations should always be as good as they are the rest of the time, but I'm sure as we all know-they aren't exactly the same! If you have warning of an observation (or an audit if you are working in the real world!)-you give it a bit of extra polish, make sure your displays are fine, planning/marking totally fab and up to date and lessons 'tip top'!

    This seems unfair that we were fine less than a year ago, yet the panic has started all over again!!
     
  2. Sounds suspiciously like your HT is just trying to keep everybody on their toes. Rest assured that the chances of you getting a no notice inspection because your Y6 haven't reached targets are virtually nil.
    I say virtually, because under section 8 of the education act, HMCI can order a no notice inspection of any school, and it can happen at any time. There's no record of any school being subject to a section 8 eight months after a section 5 'good' grading though.
    The bulk of section 8 inspections are following on from a notice to improve, special measures or grade 3 outcome from a section 5 inspection. In January and February this year there were many section 8 inspections of schools where the section 5 had found behaviour to be inadequate but the overall effectiveness was satisfactory.
    Also, on the subject of lesson observations/preparation for etc. This is now not relevant because it is teaching over time that is judged, not that seen on inspection. There was an interesting article in the ASCL leader mag which details a case study of a school where 80% of lessons were judged to be outstanding by inspectors, yet the evidence was that teaching over time was just good.
     
  3. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I worked in a school which had a no notice as part of the 2009 pilot. My experience involved the inspector arriving in reception at 8.30 am, no phone all " I'm here to inspect your school mrs x" and straight into the pib meeting with the rest of the team arriving at 9 and going straight into classrooms. Possibly the most stressful 2 days of my life. We went from satisfactory to good with outstanding features. I suspect with notice we could've been outstanding but it was an accurate reflection of the day to day running of the school.
    The downside was they still expected to see the same amount of evidence and paperwork and perform interviews which meant that on the first day no one (including the inspectors) left before 7pm and SLT were there til almost midnight and back at 5am gathering "evidence" tricky for those with depemdents to care for.
     
  4. Hmm, yes I remember these pilots. These came about because Christine Gilbert wanted them. They were trialled in 2009 and they didn't work too well so, she abandoned them. Problem is now that the new HMCI also likes the sound of them and looks like they will be trialled again under the imminent new new framework (after the consultation ends of course).
     
  5. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    What happened-do you know? Why didn't they work too well?
     
  6. They're being trialled already where I work. As curly girl says, phone call at 8.30
     
  7. Really? Are these section 5 inspections then?
     
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    We didn't get a phone call- he just turned up at 8.30
     
  9. They're the usual inspections - I don't know if that's section 5! Of the few I know of, in 1 they just walked in and the others they phoned at 8.30 as they were about to walk in. They're being trialled across my LA but I don't know if they are doing the same in any other LA.
     
  10. The consultation on the new framework due Sept 2012 ended on 3 May. I wasn't aware that inspectors had even been trained in any new framework. My sources told me that training was being rolled out later this month with pilots starting in June. Today is the 5 May! I wonder if the views of people who responded to the consultation were taken into account then... or is that me being cynical. Looks like that's the end of the PIB and phone call then..
     
  11. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I was bemused by our inspectors timetable. He arrived with a proposed list of interviews which he wished his team to conduct after school. There were 6 interviews in all, carried out by 3 inspectors. I had to point out that 4 of the roles they wished to interview were mine, and while I was happy to discuss any of them I had not perfected the art of being in 3 places at once. He had to rethink his schedule. Had we had a pib phone call he'd have saved himself the bother of writing an unworkable timetable.
     
  12. jonnymarr

    jonnymarr New commenter

    2-3pm the day before seems to be the norm in the new pilot.
     
  13. Yup. Same as the section 8 inspections right now then.
     
  14. No notice inspections really do exist - we had a phone call last Wednesday at 2.30pm and the inspector arrived at 8 am the next morning and stayed 2 days. 2 quite late nights on Wednesday and Thursday!
     
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Hope it went well
     

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