THE principal of two improving Bournemouth academies has taken the brave step of inviting inspectors into school.

Ben Parnell, pictured, the head of Winton Arts and Media College and Glenmoor School, has commissioned an independent review, led by an Ofsted inspector, of both his schools.

It has been two years since both were inspected and graded “satisfactory” – a banding now referred to as “needs improvement.”

Mr Parnell said both schools had improved rapidly since then, with examination results particularly encouraging, and he was keen to get this officially recognised.

He has tried to get Ofsted back in but was told it was extremely unlikely, so instead decided to commission a two-day ‘Mocksted’ which will scrutinise the school, teaching staff, behaviour and results in exactly the same way as Ofsted would.

He does not know the inspector or any of the inspection team and admitted the strategy was “high risk”.

“We’re really confident that we’re much better than the Ofsted that we had two years ago but you lay yourself right open when you’re inspected,” he said.

“There’s bound to be things that will be really uncomfortable for us to hear.

“There are obviously still areas where we need to improve, but we don’t want to hide anything, we want everything out in the open so we can really plan for the future and move forward to the next level again.

“We’re really proud of our schools, we are top of the academic league tables in Bournemouth for non-selective state schools and believe we are just on the cusp of being outstanding in all areas.”

n The Daily Echo will be reporting from inside Winton and Glenmoor Academies when the inspection team visits.

Don’t miss The Knowledge supplement inside Thursday’s Echo for full coverage.