What Amanda Spielman said about school inspections
In this article Amanda Spielman talks about the impact of covid in schools and the changes to inspections, you can find the link to the full article below.
“I don’t need to tell you how critical this period of recovery is. You know just how much children have missed. Some have lost out more than others; almost all have been affected. So at a time when everyone is focused on getting back on track, we have been asked to do our inspections a bit more quickly.
Please, rest assured – we aren’t going to be turning up at every school imminently! The acceleration won’t start until September 2022, since we’ve pretty much fixed our inspection schedule for this year. But it does mean that we can reduce the time it takes to get to every school. Some of you have been inspected already this year, and we plan to visit all of you by summer 2025.
This has to be better for children. It gives schools more timely assurance and up to date information for parents, and it’ll help government understand how the recovery effort is going.”
What Amanda Spielman said about school attendance during Covid
We’ve seen a lot of effort going into re-establishing routines and expectations around behaviour. And it’s great to see the efforts going into making school normal and fun – such as getting those clubs up and running.
You might also know that the Department for Education has asked us to do a piece of work looking at attendance. We’ve looked at the barriers to keeping children in class, and what schools are doing really well here. We’ll be reporting our findings soon.
But all schools seem to be dealing with attendance issues beyond what we’ve seen in previous years. And, as you’d expect, that includes parent anxieties about COVID, and some children who have simply disengaged from education.
But it’s clear that the tried and tested ways of dealing with persistent absence still work. Essentially, those of you doing really well on this have kept on doing what you do best: making sure parents understand your high expectations; not letting up when children don’t attend; listening to the reasons why, and offering solutions. And focusing, as ever, on making learning really worthwhile, so children want to attend. That’s working just as well now as it did before the pandemic.
But, with all the COVID noise in the system, it’s fair to say that it’s more difficult for you to work out what’s going on. While you have been so bogged down with COVID management, it’s been harder to spot persistent absence and to deal with it. I spoke to one head, earlier this week I think, who told me, ‘we used to be teachers!’
And I share your frustration. I hope it won’t be long before you’re able to get back to concentrating on running really great schools, without the distractions of COVID.
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