Following the temporary suspension of Ofsted’s routine inspections under the Education inspection framework, Ofsted are now working through their interim phase to return to full routine inspections planned for January 2021; carrying out interim visits in schools across England.
Last week Ofsted published a briefing note reporting on the 121 schools that were visited as part of a pilot programme last month. Amongst the main findings were that school leaders had made many adaptations to make it safe for pupils and staff to be back. However, many are concerned about not being able to keep their schools open when staff have to self-isolate to wait for COVID-19 tests. The briefing says that schools visited were using remote learning to reach those pupils who have to stay at home, but remote learning materials were in many cases not fully aligned with the regular curriculum. The schools said that they planned to return to their normal curriculum by the summer term 2021 but many said they thought they would be able to achieve this earlier.
In a commentary provided alongside the briefing note, the Chief Inspector of Schools Amanda Spielman acknowledges how the “strong leadership and committed staff remain key to making the best of this challenging time”.