In the news: MPs call for review of short inspection model

7 September 2018

A public accounts committee report on Ofsted inspection also deemed the number of schools exempt from re-inspection to be “unacceptable”.

Ofsted’s short inspections don’t give inspectors enough time to “make a meaningful assessment of a school’s performance”, according to a new report from the public accounts committee.

It recommended that Ofsted and the DfE evaluate the costs and benefits of other options, such as undertaking more full inspections.
The report also highlighted that as at August 2017, 1,620 schools hadn’t been inspected for 6 years or more. It raised the concern that grades awarded under previous inspection frameworks “are not fully comparable to more recent grades”, and advised the DfE to re-examine the rationale for exempting ‘outstanding’ schools from routine re-inspection.

The report’s other conclusions included that Ofsted:

  • Doesn’t give parents enough opportunity to contribute their views as part of school inspections
  • Has failed to complete its inspection programme due to the difficulty it’s had employing sufficient numbers of inspectors
  • Doesn’t make the most of its position to use information from inspections to lead change and be a force for school improvement

Responding to the report, chief inspector Amanda Spielman said she remains confident that Ofsted’s inspections “provide parents, schools and the government with the assurance they need about school standards”.

She added that Ofsted is “looking at how to ensure that schools and parents get everything they need” from its reports as part of its review of its inspection framework.

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