Report to reveal hundreds of school inspections incomplete

Chief inspector Noelle Buick

INSPECTORS have been unable to reassure parents about the quality of children's education at hundreds of schools.

Chief inspector Noelle Buick is this week due to publish her latest biennial report, covering July 2016 to June this year.

The report will detail what is going well but will also highlight the key challenges facing the education and training sectors.

Much of the reporting period has coincided with industrial action by teachers.

All main teaching unions withdrew cooperation with the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) early last year as part of action short of strike.

They rejected a pay offer that would see staff receive no across-the-board pay rise for 2015/16, and a 1 per cent cost of living uplift for 2016/17.

Guidance to teachers says that inspectors "should respect your right to take lawful industrial action and retreat from the room. Do not feel intimidated by the ETI - they are a visitor to your school and should behave accordingly".

Since the action began, inspectors have begun visits and reported as usual, but many reports have gaps and contain no overall inspection grade.

Since January this year, ETI has visited hundreds of education and training providers and reports have been published online.

More than 200 of these include the disclaimer "involving action short of strike".

This means inspectors have been unable to report on the standards attained by the pupils in English and literacy, mathematics and numeracy, and other subjects as well as progression in pupils' learning, impact of the curriculum and effectiveness and impact of planning, teaching, learning and assessment in promoting learning.

ETI has said the schools for which reports are incomplete are "high priority for future inspection with no further notice".

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