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Schools: Inspections

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10919, tabled on 30 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the quantity of school inspections on teacher mental wellbeing.

Answered on

14 December 2020

We recognise the pressure that teachers and leaders are under and are enormously grateful to them for their efforts, resilience, and service to our country’s children and young people as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ofsted inspections are carried out on a proportionate basis, with more regular visits to schools that are rated as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. Ofsted is committed to minimise the burdens associated with inspection, and to playing its part in reducing workload in the sector and improving wellbeing.

In creating the 2019 Education Inspection Framework, Ofsted established a framework that can understand a school’s performance without creating unnecessary workload, and looks to assess the extent to which leaders manage the workload and wellbeing of their staff.

Last year, the government set up an expert advisory group to advise on the wellbeing of staff in schools and colleges. It included consideration of the impact of inspections on the wellbeing of teachers. The group’s recommendations were accepted by ministers and published in June 2020: They include the development of a wellbeing charter for the teaching sector, setting out commitments from the government and from Ofsted on measures to promote and protect the wellbeing of staff in schools and colleges.