Gove's new free schools won't be inspected for at least two years

The standards of the Government's new flagship free schools will not be inspected for around two years after opening. Ofsted said yesterday that the schools will be visited earlier only if concerns are raised about their performance.

The National Union of Teachers said the move was "odd", adding that it would make sense for Ofsted to check newly established schools.

The move was revealed as Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said that the inspectorate was planning to scrap monitoring visits for newly opened academies.

Under the current system, schools – usually those rated outstanding or good – which "convert" to become academies, or academies that take over failing schools, receive a "Section 8 visit" a few months after opening to check on their progress. Sir Michael said these will be stopped. Instead, the academies will receive a usual full inspection when it is due.

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