Commenting on plans for school visits by Ofsted during the autumn term, with full inspections set to return in January 2021, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"We believe that Ofsted visits in the autumn term will be a distraction for schools rather than a support. Publishing the Ofsted letter will make it look and feel like an inspection visit even if it's not one. Parents are much more concerned to hear from the school itself about how their children are settling back into school with all the challenges that will bring, and schools will be focussed on doing this. 

"Schools have enough to contend with at the moment with huge amounts of change being implemented on all school and college sites, and with organising and monitoring classroom/year bubbles on top of teaching and rehabilitating their pupils/students. These visits will just provide additional stress and work for Heads and SLTs who have more than enough on their plates at the moment. 

"January is far too soon to return to full inspections of a 'normal' curriculum, and we believe that autumn is too soon to begin these visits. Ofsted need to re-think."