Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

The New Ofsted Inspection and Its Relevance to Economics, Business and Enterprise (EBE)

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

The New Ofsted Inspection and Its Relevance to Economics, Business and Enterprise (EBE)

Article excerpt

The new short inspection model.

The most significant change is that schools and further education and skills providers previously judged good will be inspected once every three years, under a new short inspection model. The purpose of a short inspection is to determine whether the school or college continues to provide a good standard of education and whether safeguarding measures are effective. Inspectors will check that leaders have identified key areas of concern and have the capacity to address them.

These short inspections will typically last one day and will be led by one or two of Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) depending on the number of pupils in the school, with bigger teams for further education colleges. The grade cannot be changed by a short inspection.

Where HMI feel more evidence is necessary to confirm the judgement, or to consider raising or lowering the grade, the visit will be converted to a full inspection.

For schools, this full inspection will take place within 48 hours and is likely to be on the following day. For FE colleges, the time scale for conversion to a full inspection will be a little longer.

Some arrangements will remain the same under the new framework. For instance, schools judged to be outstanding at their previous inspection will continue to be exempt from routine inspection, but may be inspected where concerns are identified. Schools previously judged as requiring improvement or inadequate will receive a full inspection.

A good example of 'contracting in'.

From an economics viewpoint, the change to the nature of the inspection workforce is an interesting one. Ofsted was created in 1992 with an inspection model based on private sector contractors carrying out inspections on its behalf. Their work was monitored and quality assured by the civil service in the form of directly employed HMI.

In 2005, the number of contracted inspection service providers (ISPs) responsible for the administration and staffing of inspections across England was significantly reduced, leaving just three. Additional inspectors were contracted by the ISPs, although some inspections were led by HMI. Economists are very familiar with the concept of 'contracting out' public services to the private sector. Much more unusual though is the practice of 'contracting in'. However, in September 2015 the ISP contracts were not renewed. A new workforce was recruited with additional inspectors redesignated as 'Ofsted Inspectors' and directly contracted to Ofsted. For the first time, HMI have a direct mentoring relationship with contracted inspectors. …

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