Guide to the New Ofsted Reforms: Shorter inspections, ‘exceptional leaders’ and complaints scrutiny

Guide to the New Ofsted Reforms: Shorter inspections, 'exceptional leaders' and complaints scrutiny

Michael Wilshaw has announced a series of changes to Ofsted practices from September this year.

It was already known that inspections would be ‘frequent but shorter‘ and would amalgamate frameworks from the early years through to further education.

But a few more details have also been announced:

1. Good schools will be inspected once every three years.

Outstanding schools won’t be inspected unless an issue is flagged via data or a complaint. Good schools will be visited once every three years, and only by one or two inspectors who will go in with the presumption that the school is still good. Only if they feel evidence is not sufficient on the first day will they complete a second visit day.

2. Leaders doing an exceptional turnaround job will be recognised with a letter

If inspectors identify a headteacher or principal who has played a key role in turning around other institutions, then Ofsted will send a letter acknowledging their leadership as exceptional. A copy of this letter will also go to the Secretary of State and each leader will be mentioned in Ofsted’s Annual Report.

3. Independent ‘scrutiny committees’ will rule on inspection complaints

Complaints about school inspections are on the rise. Last year 81 school inspection complaints were internally reviewed, after a formal complaints investigation had been undertaken by Ofsted. Today’s announcement revealed that scrutiny committees, comprised of inspectors and heads not involved in the original inspection, will “assess and rule” on future internal reviews.

4. Seven out of 10 inspectors will be serving practitioners

Due to changes in the way Ofsted contracts inspectors, from September seven out of 10 will be serving practitioners from ‘good or outstanding schools and colleges’.