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OFSTED INSPECTIONS REVAMP SET TO THREATEN MOST SCHOOLS

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Thousands of schools which appear to be performing well but could be improved will be targeted by government inpsec...
Thousands of schools which appear to be performing well but could be improved will be targeted by government inpsectors in a crackdown on educational standards, The Guardian reports (p9).

The initiative will mean the majority of schools would now see full inspection as an even more threatening experience, the National Union of Teachers general secretary Doug McAvoy said.

It was unveiled yesterday (see LGCnet) as part of a proposed shake-up of the government's schools inspection regime run by Ofsted, aimed at making better use of its£130m annual budget. Changes are due to take effect in 2000.

Under the proposals, schools with a good track record - about one in three - will be given a 'light touch' inspection, with resources diverted to inspection of a new category of 'coasting' schools which could be improved, as well as failing ones.

Chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead said coasting schools represented up to 15 per cent of the 25,000 schools in England.

They will face the same follow-up inspections requried of failing schools and will also have to draw up an action plan for improvement.

Mr McAvoy said: 'While there are arguments for a shorter notice for inspection, the Ofsted proposals fall far short of the government's review of inspection which it promised in opposition.'

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