Ofsted inspectors are to start inspecting schools without warning, MPs have been told. Currently, they must give 48 hours notice of an inspection, but ?no notice? visits may be introduced at the request of parents, according to Ofsted.

?No-notice? inspections are expected to be introduced in 2009, but faces opposition from The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

John Dunford, its general secretary, said: ?No-notice inspections would be more punitive and create increased stress, as heads keep a constant watch on the school gate ? Ofsted should consider the bigger question of whether to do away with mandatory inspection altogether.?

Christine Gilbert, the Chief Inspector of Schools, told the Children, Schools and Families Committee: ?We are considering representations from parents and pupils that inspections should take place without any prior notice.?

Ofsted must currently give schools 48 hours notice of an inspection, and will do so until the no-notice inspections are introduced, which may well be 2009.

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