Schools to face snap inspections” was the headline in one of the papers yesterday. “About time too” I thought. Too many poorly performing schools have been able to hide their failings because of the weeks of notice that they get before undergoing any kind of inspection.
Inspection regimes vary in the UK. Transport companies, prisons, restaurants, and police forces are amongst the many organisations or types of business which may be subject to an inspection without any warning.
Hospitals generally get some notice although in Wales at least, they are now being subject to inspection without warning and not surprisingly the findings have made for worrying reading.
Schools have always got off lightly. The weeks or even moths of warning they receive gives them time to lay on a good show. Even so many continue to fail.
Things are not about to change. As I read on I saw that it is schools in the independent sector which will face snap inspections, to ensure compliance with Charity Commission regulations. The state sector will continue to receive ample warning of any effort to uncover their failings.
This, of course is just the latest in a long line of attacks on the independent sector which Labour hate – except when they are educating their children there. The majority of parents who educate their children independently do so at great personal sacrifice often because their local state schools are not performing well. The Government should wake up and realise that the easiest way to close swathes of independent schools would be to raise the standards in state schools.
They could make a start by putting in place a snap inspection regime to find out what is going wrong in the worst classrooms. Of course this would mean putting the education of our children before the sensitivities of the Labour supporting National Union Teachers so it will never happen. The independent sector will continue to flourish as parents living in areas with poorly performing schools borrow and remortgage to try and get their children the education to which they are entitled.