Head-teachers and their colleagues dread getting the phone call kindly informing them that OfSTED are due to visit. Once upon a time, schools were given long notification of the visit, allowing schools months to ensure the premises and files were up-to-date. The system changed a few years ago, allowing OfSTED to give 3 or 4 days’ notice of their visit. However, this is fraught with stresses within itself, with many teachers feeling obliged to go into school over weekends to ensure their rooms, planning and assessment are where they should be.
There appears to be a growing trend of educators who now wish that this stress was removed, allowing OfSTED the power just to turn up un-announced, which would show the school in its true form.
In a snap poll of educators perusing the #ukedchat community, this opinion seems to be growing. Of the 80 responses, 56% thought that OfSTED should have the power just to appear at the school gates and inspect without any notice. The other 44% of respondents wanted to maintain the current regime, allowing a few days’ notice. No-one wanted to return to the old system, where schools had months to prepare for the visit (The results of the poll can be viewed here).