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Ofsted launches trial of extended three-day school inspections

06/06/2017 Joanna

British schools could be subject to longer inspections by Ofsted following the launch of a new pilot study by the schools regulator.

The trial is designed to assess the benefits of inspecting schools for a longer period of time, with TES reporting that the gap between the first and second phases of a full inspection is also set to be extended under the proposed system.

Currently, schools rated 'good' by Ofsted are given short inspections lasting one day to confirm that the facility still merits the same rating. In cases where inspectors are unable to determine this - or believe a case could be made to upgrade the school to 'outstanding' - the visit is converted into a full inspection, resulting in a second day of assessment by a larger team within 48 hours.

Under the new pilot scheme, full inspections will involve smaller teams, but will require two additional days of assessment on top of the initial single-day visit. Moreover, the conversion to a full inspection will take place within 15 working days, instead of 48 hours.

Part of the purpose of the trial is to observe the effect of bringing fewer inspectors into schools, but for a longer period of time. It is also hoped that the new system will be easier for schools to accommodate.

An Ofsted spokesman said: “We have had some very positive feedback from school leaders about the short inspection process. However, we have also heard that the logistics of converting a short inspection to a full inspection within 48 hours can be difficult for schools and inspectors to manage.

“Therefore, we are exploring ways of making this process more convenient for both schools and our inspection workforce.”

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