Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
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Ofsted responds to the Education Select Committee report

Ofsted has today responded to each of the Education Select Committee's recommendations.

  • Ofsted welcomes the recommendations from the Education Select Committee’s (ESC) Inquiry into its work, the results of which helped in planning the Big Listen launched on Friday 8 March.
  • The response is clear that implementing many of the Inquiry’s recommendations would require additional funding from Government.
  • Meeting the ESC’s calls for deeper and richer inspection estimated to cost an additional £8.5 million a year.

The ESC’s recommendations include confirming a review of its current risk assessment model, agreeing to publish our training materials for inspectors, and considering many of the other recommendations as part of the Big Listen.

Read ‘Ofsted’s response to the Education Select Committee.

The response is clear that implementing these recommendations needs to be discussed within the context of funding constraints. It explains that, while Ofsted’s role and responsibilities have expanded significantly since 2005, its funding has fallen significantly over the same period, and is now 29% lower in real terms compared with 2009/10.

This squeeze on resources means Ofsted is continually having to make difficult decisions in order to fulfil its statutory duties on inspection and regulation. Ofsted welcomes the committee’s support in recommending additional funding for more in-depth inspections, noting that the sooner inspectors can diagnose weaknesses and celebrate strengths, the sooner a school can get the support it needs to improve.

One way Ofsted could inspect schools in greater depth is by ensuring that every inspection is led by one of His Majesty’s Inspectors and that the inspection team has an additional inspector on the team. This change would provide a number of additional benefits, including allowing for more time to explore the school’s unique approach. Delivering this additional depth in school inspections would have a direct cost of £8.5 million per year.

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver said:

I am committed to running an open and transparent organisation and I welcome the committee’s recommendations. We have already made several positive changes over the last year, and I have promised that we will do more. But we have to accept that anything we do has to be within the budget constraints we have.

I want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our Big Listen, to help inform our future direction and make sure all children have the best possible education, care, and life chances.


Find more information about the Big Listen at

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