ASCL comment on Ofsted’s remote education guide

11/01/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on Ofsted’s press release about remote education.
 
Commenting on Ofsted’s press release about remote education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We’re pleased to see Ofsted dispelling common myths about remote education, particularly the notion that live lessons are a gold standard. This idea seems to have caught hold in some circles and has created an expectation that schools should be providing an endless stream of live lessons.
 
“However, while live lessons can work very well, they are only one form of remote education and other approaches can also be highly effective. Schools have done a great deal of work in developing their remote education offer over the course of this crisis and have very high-quality provision in place.
 
“We note that Ofsted intends to resume monitoring inspections of struggling schools from 18 January. We support this move as long as these visits are genuinely supportive and helpful to the schools concerned.
 
“However, we are at a loss to understand why these visits need to happen in person. When the Prime Minister announced the new national lockdown, he instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. Surely, in-person Ofsted visits are not the most pressing priority in the midst of a national crisis, and it would be more sensible to conduct these remotely while the lockdown restrictions are in place.”