William Eichler 07 September 2018

Ofsted ‘fig leaf’ for Whitehall failures on school standards

Ofsted ‘fig leaf’ for Whitehall failures on school standards    image

Ofsted is not providing the level of independent assurance about the quality of education that schools and parents need, MPs warn.

The Public Accounts Committee has criticised the performance of the organisation responsible for auditing schools, arguing it is ‘undermining’ the ability of families to make informed decisions about their children’s education.

The committee said Ofsted had completed fewer inspections than planned, failed to meet its targets for how often schools should be inspected, and was leaving schools for longer between inspections.

Ofsted’s budget has been cut significantly in recent years — a fact the PAC acknowledged — and the amount it spent on inspecting the schools sector fell by 52% in real terms between 1999–2000 and 2017–18.

Despite the cuts, however, there had still been ‘clear shortcomings’ in Ofsted’s performance, committee chair, Meg Hillier MP, insisted.

‘If the level of inspection continues to be eroded there is a risk that Ofsted will come to be perceived by parents, Parliament and taxpayers as not relevant or worse, simply a fig leaf for Government failures on school standards,’ she said.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman responded that, as with other areas in the public sector, they had been forced to do ‘more with less’.

‘I remain confident that our inspections provide parents, schools and the Government with the assurance they need about school standards and that we do so in a way that compares very favourably in terms of quality and value for money with school inspection regimes internationally,’ said Ms. Spielman.

‘However, as I said at the hearing, we have reached the limit in terms of being able to provide that level of assurance within our current funding envelope.

‘That is why, with our ongoing framework review, we are looking at how to ensure that schools and parents get everything they need from our reports, and why many of the committee’s recommendations are already long in train.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Applications Analyst

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 to £47,360
Looking for someone with at least two years’ experience providing technical support for HR and Financial Systems and... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

AMHP Duty Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 per annum
Seeking to recruit a strong, highly motivated Duty Manager working for the AMHP servicein the  London Borough of Camden. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Housing Needs Reviews Caseworker

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £38,423
The successful candidate will carry out statutory reviews of decisions under the Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Homeless Reduction Act 2018. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Short Breaks Assessor - Children and Young People Disability Service (CYPDS)

Camden London Borough Council
£30,066 - £34,538 per annum (subject to experience)
To be successful you will need extensive demonstrable experience working with people with various disabilities or other potentially... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Social Worker - Children and Young People Disability Service (CYPDS)

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum (subject to experience)
The service works closely with colleagues from Health, Education, Schools and Adult Social Care to support young people as they move into adulthood. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue