Remote inspections of schools and further education providers commenced on 25 January, with particular focus on how well children are being educated remotely. Whilst many providers of education will understand the need for Ofsted to continue with their inspection work, this is also going to create a lot of stress for teachers during what is already an incredibly stressful time.
Many teachers are splitting their time between working with key worker children in school and working with other children remotely; for those being taught remotely, there is a level of reliance on parents and guardians to ensure that their child is able to access the online learning and remains engaged. Providers will understandably be concerned as to how Ofsted plan to assess this aspect of the teaching.
Ofsted have also confirmed that they will be prioritising schools previously graded ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’. Again, whilst it is important that Ofsted continue to monitor failing schools, many providers won’t have had the opportunity to make improvements needed and will be concerned about the implications of this.
Ofsted are due to publish guidance on the inspections shortly. It will be interesting to see what this guidance states, but also how Ofsted approach the inspections in the coming weeks. Arguably, Ofsted should be offering constructive guidance about how improvements can be made in remote education, rather than simply criticising providers.
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