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In conversation with the DfE, it was agreed that I should clarify the following matter.
There has been some confusion recently, in emails from one or more bodies and elsewhere, about the maximum length of time permitted between BSO inspections, such that BSO status does not lapse.
I contacted senior officials within the DfE to query this and have received confirmation of my understanding of the situation, which can be summarised as follows:
For a school to continue as a BSO, with no break in this status, the school must successfully undergo a BSO inspection not more than three academic years after the last successful BSO inspection visit.
An example will make this clear:
A school that wishes to retain unbroken BSO status and which was inspected, say, in November 2011 has to be re-inspected before the end of the academic year 2014-15.
The confusion arose because some had assumed that the period was three calendar years - in which case the school referred to would have had to be re-inspected by November 2014.
The period between inspections is one aspect that schools and BSME will be able to comment upon when the DfE begins its consultation on revisions to the BSO inspection standards.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if there is need for further clarification.
Whilst writing, I would note that 40 schools have now signed-up for AOBSO .... I hope that this email might prompt some more BSME schools to join!
With best wishes,
Ed Goodwin OBE