Ofsted have announced a suspension of all routine inspections after Boris Johnson unveiled a series of hugely stringent new measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The watchdog revealed that all routine inspections of schools early years, further education providers and social care settings would stop. However, any inspections triggered by safeguarding concerns would not become exempt.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “Following the prime minister’s announcement this afternoon, we are putting a hold on all this week’s routine inspections of schools, social care, early years and further education providers. We are in discussions with the DfE about the longer-term picture.”

The announcement comes after Ofsted was forced to deny remours of panic inspections in midst of the coronavirus outbreak and potential school closures.

Initially the inspectorate responded on Friday to the claims by reassuring schools that it would be open for discussion before deciding whether to they had ‘exceptional circumstances’ that warranted a deferral.

Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Speilman, told schools on Saturday that she would personally sign off any decisions not to defer.

Despite the concerns of tackling the coronavirus and increased risk in schools, the prime minister urges schools to stay open. Hours earlier, schools were issued with new guidance instructing teachers to isolate pupils who develop a cough or fever while they wait for parents to collect them.

We are putting a hold on all this week’s routine inspections of schools.

Ofsted Spokesperson
Amanda Speilman

Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman.

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