16 April 2004
Teachers' leaders are pushing for reassurances that the proposed new 'short, sharp' school inspection regime will not lead to additional pressures on staff.
The consultation period on the proposals floated by Ofsted in February closed on April 8. The regulator wants to see the notice period for inspections reduced to 48 hours and the current six-yearly round replaced with inspections every three years.
Chris Keates, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, told Public Finance that the union had already met chief schools inspector David Bell to raise concerns.
Keates said: 'Ofsted needs to give much clearer guidance on what it wants from schools. The reality is, inspectors ask for things that are not in the framework and then word gets round and other schools don't want to leave any stone unturned.'
Bell has said the new inspection programme could be in place by autumn 2005. It is expected to deliver cash savings of £10m on an annual inspection budget of £70m.