Councils call for Ofsted school inspections not to be resumed

By Agencies
January 12, 2021

Ofsted has announced that from 18 January, it will start making monitoring inspections to primary, secondary and special schools and colleges graded inadequate or requiring improvement. These will not result in a grade. Ofsted says: "We will continue to risk assess monitoring visits carefully. Some aspects of a visit can only be done on site, so we will continue to visit in person where we can."

Responding to the announcement, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Schools, supported by councils, have gone above and beyond to keep them open to vulnerable children since term restarted, making necessary changes in line with updated guidance at very short notice.

“Many schools have seen a significant increase in demand for places during this latest lockdown and are struggling to provide both virtual and actual teaching to children and young people amid huge pressure on their workloads and responsibilities.

“Schools and councils need to focus on providing education during the pandemic, without any unnecessary distractions. This is why we are urging Ofsted to postpone the resumption of monitoring inspections for schools, either in-person or virtual, until after February half-term at the earliest.

“Clearly there will always be a need for inspection where serious issues are identified, but all routine inspection activity was suspended during the last national lockdown, and this should be repeated during this latest lockdown to avoid adding to the considerable burden of school leaders and staff who are already exhausted due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

“Councils would also like confirmation that Ofsted has no plans to resume inspections of children’s services during the pandemic.”

* Local Government Association https://www.local.gov.uk/

* Ofsted https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted


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