Tories planning major overhaul of ‘unwieldy’ Ofsted

The Telegraph is reporting that Ofsted could be broken up under radical Tory plans to rein in the education watchdog…

The Conservatives are considering a range of options designed to “refocus” the regulator amid fears it is piling too much pressure on teachers and preventing innovation.

Proposals being discussed include significantly cutting the number of inspectors to move to a system in which oversight of schools is largely data-driven.

The watchdog may also be stripped of many of its responsibilities to inspect areas such as social services because of concerns it has become too unwieldy.

Last night, the move was welcomed by head teachers’ leaders who insisted the “level of antagonism” towards the watchdog was now “unprecedented”…

The Conservatives are now understood to be discussing plans to significantly reform the watchdog after the general election.

This includes “slimming it down” to make sure it focuses on its “core function” of schools – removing key responsibilities from Ofsted to inspect non-education issues such as social services, adoption and fostering agencies.

The inspection process could also be radically overhauled to cut down on the number – and extent – of physical audits of schools. In its place, the process may shift towards a more rigorous analysis of data on exam results, pupil progress, attendance and exclusions, overseen by a smaller inspection team.

The Telegraph was told plans had not yet been put in writing but were under active consideration by ministers…

Ofsted declined to comment…

More at: Tories planning major overhaul of ‘unwieldy’ Ofsted


What would you make of a slimmed-down, data driven version of Ofsted? Sound like a better approach? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This is long overdue & ridding Ofsted of Wilshaw is essential as he seems to want to investigate not inspect everything

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Initial idea is encouraging but an increased focus on exam results is not the way forward at all. Right idea poorly executed

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove With the idea hinting at less inspectors but more bureaucrats analysing school exam grades it smacks of simply cost cutting

  4. HughdjNicklin

    andylutwyche Shooting the messenger, when the inappropriate curriculum is the message. #ReadWriteBuySellCookCleanFix

  5. NAHTYorkshire

    wiganwilson it’s also all about perception. Whatever happens will seem like a victory to teachers after all these years of unlimited attack

  6. barbarafirth

    Education costs a vast amount of public money; children have only one chance and whereas the majority get a good deal – too many don’t. Schools aren’t able to inspect themselves and neither can an annual look at exam results – there is much more to education than that!  Ofsted requires reform but it needs to be smarter not disposed of!!

  7. Janet2

    Sir Michael Wilshaw was headhunted by Gove to put pressure on teachers.  Remember his remark about how heads know they’re doing well when staff morale is low?

    Data driven inspections are too narrowly focused – results alone don’t give a full picture of the standard of education.  Poor education (eg teaching to test, ‘gaming’, neglecting skills which aren’t measured) can be obscured by raw results.

  8. dorristheloris

    SchoolsImprove What about safeguarding? With academies & free schools out of LA oversight, will these issues show in data-driven approach?

Let us know what you think...