Michael Gove has claimed that schools are concealing the extent of bad behaviour from Ofsted by ensuring incompetent teachers and poorly behaved children stay at home during inspections. How likely is this?
As far as staff are concerned, remember schools only get 48 hours notice before an inspection. During that time the head would have to tell the member of staff concerned and employ a supply teacher who she/he is confident would be preferable to the person told to stay away - no easy task in many places.
But above all this has to be accomplished in total secrecy . In reality, in every school I have known the entire community - staff,pupils,parents,governors would know within hours.
We are then expected to believe that nothing is then leaked to the inspectors -no parent ever writes to Ofsted, no disgruntled member of staff, who has fallen out with the head, tips off the local press. And the facts are kept quiet in the dozens of conversations between inspectors and pupils which are a key part of all inspections.
And this issue of secrecy applies just as much to the pupils told to stay away. Michael Gove apparently believes they do not tell their friends about a highly unusual request not to come into school .And If their friends do know they do not tell their parents and so on.
The most shocking thing about this story, which has been picked up by much of the media, is the sheer naivete of believing that a school where behaviour is poor can be transformed by the absence of one or two teachers and half a dozen pupils.