Ofsted to investigate schools’ financial decision-making

Ofsted is set to begin diving into schools’ financial decision-making to test if it provides “more insight” into the quality of leadership and management.

Daniel Muijs, Oftsed’s deputy director for research and evaluation, made the announcement this morning via his ‘Why we do research at Ofsted’ blog post explaining the rationale and importance of the education watchdog’s research branch.

Oftsed will be looking at financial decision-making to see if this provides “more insight into the quality of leadership and management”.

Schools Week understands this will be done on a trial basis, with a number of different models tested.

To avoid placing any extra burden on schools the trial will use existing sources of evidence to conduct the investigations.

The announcement follows on from the government’s plans for Ofsted to give schools financial ratings.

Last year, the government revealed it will work with Ofsted to ensure all inspection reports include a “rating for financial management and oversight” within the school, academy or academy trust.

Muijs also confirmed there will be a “re-introduction of thematic subject reviews”, starting with maths and languages.

The reviews will track current and emerging trends across an area and will help provide an overview of a subject. Oftsed will use data from “inspection deep dives to look at the state if the nation in different subject areas across key stages”.