Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Parents 'want snap inspections'

Many parents want inspections which give schools less time to prepare

Parents overwhelmingly think school inspections are a good thing, but many think two days' notice is too much, a survey by inspectors Ofsted suggests.

Nine in 10 parents said they were pleased their child's schools was subject to an inspection.

Currently schools are given between two and four days' notice of an inspection after the advance warning period was reduced.

Mori questioned 541 parents in England for the Ofsted research.

Over four in five parents think the inspection of their school will help it to improve.

Two thirds (68%) think that schools should be given less than two days' notice of an inspection, and one in three thinks that inspections help schools to improve.

Ofsted says a lower proportion than in the last survey did not know whether their child's school had been inspected.

But among less affluent parents, this proportion was higher - at 31%.


The education watchdog, Ofsted, carries out a regular survey of parents' opinions on school inspections.

It asks whether parents think inspections help drive up standards, and whether they find the school inspection report useful.

Ofsted reformed its inspection process in 2005 to make the inspections shorter and sharper.

They now last no more than two days rather than four or five, and involve fewer inspectors.

But last year a report by think-tank Civitas said inspections risked gaining only a "superficial" snapshot of a school's performance.

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