Ofsted (The office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills), is surely the most dreaded word within staffrooms across the country. Ofsted not only means stress and sleepless nights for many teachers but also many long hours preparing for the dreaded impending inspection.

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting and maintaining schools and academies, some independent schools, and many other educational institutions and programmes outside of Higher Education. They also inspect childcare, adoption and fostering agencies and initial teacher training courses. They then have to publish a report of their findings so they can be used to improve the overall quality of education and training.

Although many teachers regularly complain about the inspection quality or whether the feedback they received was fair. It was Ofsted itself who actually came under fire by having to scratch around 1,200 school and college inspectors after assessing them as not good enough to judge schools. In the meantime, Ofsted has been using around 3,000 additional inspectors, contracted through inspection service providers to help carry on their service of inspecting schools and colleges.

Ofsted are making new changes to their criteria, which will be put in place between 2016 and 2020. Schools will face more frequent and shorter inspections, but unannounced inspections will not become standard.

Schools will be inspected every 3 years, rather than every 7 years at present. This is going to mean all Ofsted reports are more relevant and up to date and schools won’t have to wait a long period of time in order for inspections. A lot can change within a school or college in 7 years and it is important for all data and information to remain current for prospective parents when they are considering different schools.

 

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