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Stress in schools over inspection 'war footing'

Schools have been put on a permanent "war" footing by the new no-notice inspection regime, according to a report out today.

A survey of almost 3,000 teachers reveals 96 per cent now believe inspections by the education standards watchdog, Ofsted, are pushing up stress levels in the profession. That compares with only 27 per cent in a similar survey six years ago.

Chris Keates, head of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, which ran the survey, is urging MPs to hold an inquiry into the way the inspection system works.

Under the new system, schools only hear the night before when inspectors are due to visit them. And if they fail to achieve a "good" ranking they can be forced into becoming academies. Ofsted said yesterday it was just "not acceptable" for a school to be "less than good".

Delegates at the NUT conference today will debate a call to boycott school inspections, though the union's leaders warns that would be illegal.