Ofsted seek views on new shorter inspections model

Ofsted has launched a consultation on proposals to improve the short inspection model which was rolled out in 2015.

Short inspections began as a proportionate approach to inspecting schools previously judged to be good. They last for one day and begin with the assumption that the school remains good.

Most schools inspected this way keep their good rating. But when the lead inspector decides there is insufficient evidence to confirm the school is still good, or thinks it may now be outstanding, they will convert the short inspection into a full inspection

A team of inspectors then arrives at the school within 48 hours, to gather more evidence and reach a final judgement. Currently, around one-third of short inspections convert to full inspections.

According to Ofsted, despite this inspection model being “widely welcomed”, both school leaders and inspectors have said that the 48 hour conversion period can be challenging.

As a result of this, the consultation proposes two operational changes to improve the conversion process.

When a short inspection converts, its is being proposed that the full inspection will be completed within a maximum of 15 working days, rather than 48 hours.

The second suggestion is that a full inspection will automatically take place in around one in five cases where Ofsted has prior evidence that a school is in “complex circumstances”.

To reduce the burden on very large schools, Ofsted will also continue the current practice of having a small team of inspectors carry out the converted full inspection over two days, rather than a large team on one day.

Ofsted is piloting the changes in around 35 schools during the summer term.

The consultation closes on 18 August 2017. If the proposals are accepted, it’s expected that the changes will take effect immediately after the October half term this year.

Photo courtesy of NovatrainingUK

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