Schools are required to comply with Ofsted inspectors when they visit, as inspections are necessary for assessing education standards in the school.
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However, there may be occasions where a school can refuse entry to an inspector. This could include if there is reasonable doubt that the inspector is different from whom they claim to be or if there have been repeated requests from the same person without a valid reason. In addition, schools must also ensure that visitors satisfy health and safety requirements before entry is granted. Schools should check documents provided by the visitor and contact Ofsted beforehand if there are any doubts about their authenticity or legitimacy. If a school has refused entry on its own accord, it must inform Ofsted immediately after taking action and explain why this was done. Ultimately, Ofsted will decide if the refusal was justified and may approve or reject the request. Schools must also be aware of their legal obligations when refusing entry, as any decision taken without due cause could lead to disciplinary action from Ofsted. As such, schools should always seek advice from senior leadership or governing bodies before taking such action.
In summary, while schools are legally obliged to comply with Ofsted inspections, they can refuse entry under certain circumstances provided that they notify Ofsted immediately after doing so and explain their decision. A school needs to ensure that all visitors satisfy health and safety requirements before granting access and to get advice from senior leadership or governors about any potential issues with the inspector. Ultimately, it is up to Ofsted to decide if any refusal of entry was justified. Schools must always be aware of their legal obligations when refusing entry and take all necessary steps to remain compliant with regulations.
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