Ofsted released a statement via their Twitter page on Monday 2nd November to share the news that the inspectors are to move Ofsted visits to online for remote inspection.
The official statement read: “During the national lockdown we will undertake our work remotely where we can – only going on-site where it is necessary to do so, or in response to urgent concerns. That means our programme of autumn visits to schools and colleges will be done remotely from Thursday.”
The change comes in response to the news that England will be in a 4-week lockdown from November 2, as attempts to stop the spread of coronavirus continue. Prior to the change, some inspectors had previously asked chief inspector Amanda Spielman why inspections were necessary on-site, as most of the evidence is gathered through conversations.
Remote technology has transformed keeping in touch throughout the pandemic, with zoom room allowing people to meet as though face-to-face for conversations, meetings, remote parties and more. The ability to record and share screens means that Ofsted inspectors should face no difficulties moving to online for remote inspection.
Concerns over the inspections have continued to grow as cases continue, with one primary school forced to close after an inspector who had visited the school tested positive.
The watchdog’s decision will come as a welcome relief to those in schools who are working hard to prevent the spread. Ofsted were reportedly planning to carry out visits to more than 1,000 schools this term to check on pupils well-being, however these will now be part of the remote inspections planned moving forward.
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