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U-turn signalled over no-notice inspections for schools

Discussion in 'Personal' started by henriette, May 5, 2012.

  1. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    U-turn signalled over no-notice inspections for schoolsBy Katherine Sellgren

    BBC News, NAHT conference in Harrogate

    Education Secretary Michael Gove has signalled a U-turn over proposals to introduce no-notice inspections of schools in England.
    Mr Gove said plans by Ofsted to introduce these inspections from September were likely to be dropped.
    The plans, announced by Ofsted's new chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw in January, were welcomed by Mr Gove at the time.
    But it led to an outcry from heads, who currently get 48 hours' notice.
    Addressing the National Association of Head Teachers in Harrogate, Mr Gove appeared to offer an olive branch to heads by rowing back on the Ofsted announcement.
    'Spanish Inquisition'

    "People fear that no-notice inspection sends a message that we don't trust the profession, that Ofsted has become an arm of the Spanish Inquisition or Sean Connery's Untouchables, that they have to be ready to storm in without any notice in order to deal with something that has gone drastically wrong - that was never the intention.
    In this process of consultation Michael Wilshaw is clear that he is listening to the profession.
    "That is why when we come back after the consultation it will be clear that we have listened to the principle that has been articulated that teachers and head deserve to have the chance to know when an Ofsted inspection is coming and to be there in order to present the best face of the school - that message has been heard.
    "Action will follow. In due course the chief inspector will explain how we change how notice is given, so we combine efficiency of the inspection regime with fairness to schools."

    Announcing the move in January, Sir Michael said no-notice inspections were a "logical" progression and that it was important parents had confidence in the system.
    Mr Gove said the move would provide parents with a "true picture" of schools' performance.
    But head teachers objected, saying they had not been consulted.
    They were also concerned that with no notice of an impending inspection, they and other members of the management team might be away from the premises on school business, such as a conference.
    NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby welcomed Mr Gove's speech, saying the prospect of no-notice inspections had been a real concern.
    "Heads have a right to be in the school when it's being inspected," he said.
    "It shows a lack of trust that, somehow in 48 hours you'll have everything swept under the carpet.

    Mr Gove, who received a lukewarm reception from NAHT delegates, also suggested that Ofsted inspectors should be paid more to ensure the best people took up the role.
    Inspectors are currently paid around £60,000 - "Is that enough?" he questioned in his speech.
    Speaking later, he said: "I think there could be few better uses of public money than making sure our inspection system is working as effectively as possible."
    Mr Gove's comments on Ofsted come after the NAHT raised concerns that inspections were "too variable" and "too subjective" and that inspectors were arriving at schools with their minds already made up about performance.
    Setting up a new website, School View, the association is asking head teachers to report back on their experiences of Ofsted inspections.
    The union said it plans to put the evidence it collects to Ofsted to "persuade them to address the variable quality of its inspection teams and to concentrate on helping schools improve rather than simply criticising them".
     
  2. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    U-turn signalled over no-notice inspections for schoolsBy Katherine Sellgren

    BBC News, NAHT conference in Harrogate

    Education Secretary Michael Gove has signalled a U-turn over proposals to introduce no-notice inspections of schools in England.
    Mr Gove said plans by Ofsted to introduce these inspections from September were likely to be dropped.
    The plans, announced by Ofsted's new chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw in January, were welcomed by Mr Gove at the time.
    But it led to an outcry from heads, who currently get 48 hours' notice.
    Addressing the National Association of Head Teachers in Harrogate, Mr Gove appeared to offer an olive branch to heads by rowing back on the Ofsted announcement.
    'Spanish Inquisition'

    "People fear that no-notice inspection sends a message that we don't trust the profession, that Ofsted has become an arm of the Spanish Inquisition or Sean Connery's Untouchables, that they have to be ready to storm in without any notice in order to deal with something that has gone drastically wrong - that was never the intention.
    In this process of consultation Michael Wilshaw is clear that he is listening to the profession.
    "That is why when we come back after the consultation it will be clear that we have listened to the principle that has been articulated that teachers and head deserve to have the chance to know when an Ofsted inspection is coming and to be there in order to present the best face of the school - that message has been heard.
    "Action will follow. In due course the chief inspector will explain how we change how notice is given, so we combine efficiency of the inspection regime with fairness to schools."

    Announcing the move in January, Sir Michael said no-notice inspections were a "logical" progression and that it was important parents had confidence in the system.
    Mr Gove said the move would provide parents with a "true picture" of schools' performance.
    But head teachers objected, saying they had not been consulted.
    They were also concerned that with no notice of an impending inspection, they and other members of the management team might be away from the premises on school business, such as a conference.
    NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby welcomed Mr Gove's speech, saying the prospect of no-notice inspections had been a real concern.
    "Heads have a right to be in the school when it's being inspected," he said.
    "It shows a lack of trust that, somehow in 48 hours you'll have everything swept under the carpet.

    Mr Gove, who received a lukewarm reception from NAHT delegates, also suggested that Ofsted inspectors should be paid more to ensure the best people took up the role.
    Inspectors are currently paid around £60,000 - "Is that enough?" he questioned in his speech.
    Speaking later, he said: "I think there could be few better uses of public money than making sure our inspection system is working as effectively as possible."
    Mr Gove's comments on Ofsted come after the NAHT raised concerns that inspections were "too variable" and "too subjective" and that inspectors were arriving at schools with their minds already made up about performance.
    Setting up a new website, School View, the association is asking head teachers to report back on their experiences of Ofsted inspections.
    The union said it plans to put the evidence it collects to Ofsted to "persuade them to address the variable quality of its inspection teams and to concentrate on helping schools improve rather than simply criticising them".
     
  3. Crystalsecrets

    Crystalsecrets New commenter

    I work in a day nursery and we were recently inspected. We never get any notice, they just turn up on the day and inspect the setting as it is then and there. The fact they don't give any notice means that noone has 24-48 hours of running around, getting stressed about how things look, noone has sleepless nights worrying about it etc.

    If stuff isn't done it isn't done and it's just tough luck on the day.

    Happy to report my setting was judge outstanding :-D
     
  4. I run a pre-school and we also don't get any notice. We are judged on the same criteria as school nurseries so is it fair that they get notice and we don't? Having worked at an after school club in a school, I have seen how the staff run around like headless chickens after getting the call. I don't mind that we don't get any warning but feel that it should be a level playing field for all settings. it certainly keeps us on our toes, many a Sunday night I have worked late to ensure that I have every piece of paper ready, just in case. We were inspected last year and I am definitely retiring before our next one is due!
     
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    With respect a school has a number of key stages which are inspected and governance forms a key part of the grading. This isn't the case in Pre schools. Having been involved in working with pvi and maintained schools and their inspection processes, I can honestly say its comparing apples with oranges.
     
  6. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I agree with curly girl. PVI are one key stage/ age range. The paper work I keep for my state maintained nursery class are a drop in the ocean of the school's paperwork. Schools can have between 3 and 6 key stages in it and upto 2500+ pupils to justify assessment and progress data for. Nevermind managing upto 200 staff. Having been through both pvi and school inspections i can assure you that the requirements are not the same, with care having a far higher focus in pvis than schools where education was the main factor.. The inspector also spent the majority of the time looking at paperwork in the pvi setting, than observing staff as they would in a school.
    That said I am pleased that no notice inspections have been scrapped. I dont think anyone should be subjected to no notice inspections whether schools or pvis, unless there was a major concern over H&S, abuse etc.
     
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Hope you read the other bit of Groves comment as to satisfactory is to be changed to 'needing improvement'.........It seems according to cameron that not good enough is not good enough and that all schools should be good and outstanding.
    I do wish they would grade politicians in the same way.We only get to kick them out every 5 years! We also aren't allowed to make much comment upon their lousy handling of situations!
     

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