Ofsted monitoring inspections to take place online from January 25

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
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Ofsted will carry out remote inspections of schools rated "inadequate" and "requires improvement" from January 25, with inspectors focusing on the effectiveness of remote education provision.

It comes after the inspectorate bowed to pressure and cancelled its plans to resume face-to-face inspections this term.

Ofsted had planned to resume monitoring inspections from Monday, January 18, and intended to send its inspectors physically into schools and other settings.

However, in a statement on Tuesday (January 12), Ofsted has back-tracked and will now carry out all planned inspection activity remotely “until after the February half-term”.

The statement said: “In light of a change in emphasis from the government and clear advice to ‘act as if you have the virus’ over the next few weeks, we have decided that all planned inspection activity will be undertaken remotely until after the February half term.”

This covers the inspections of schools, early years and further education.

Under the new plan, remote inspections of schools and further education providers will now begin on Monday, January 25, “with a particular focus on how well children and learners are being educated remotely”.

The statement adds: “We have sought regular advice from Public Health England and we remain satisfied that our planned on-site activity would be safe and appropriate under current restrictions. However, the new government messages and the practical challenges of deploying inspectors across England have prompted this change.”

From January 25, Ofsted will inspect schools rated inadequate or requires improvement “as planned”. It will also follow up on complaints raised by parents across all grades of school “in order to resolve issues”.

The statement continues: “As these inspections will not involve an on-site visit, they will be unable to cover the full scope of a monitoring inspection. We will publish details of the inspection process shortly.

We will continue to undertake on-site inspections if we have immediate concerns – for example about safeguarding, the leadership of a school, or a failure to provide education to children.


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