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Training for Ofsted inspectors is not up to standard…

5th March 2014

At the start of the month The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) are to propose to Ofsted that they stop using inspectors from the private sector with a view to taking a lower key approach to school inspections.

A senior group of school leaders claims that the quality of training of inspectors contracted from the private sectors is not up to standard. ASCL is consulting with its representatives, many working at state secondary schools, and outlining a framework of its proposals, which it hopes to agree at its conference later in March.

The general secretary of ASCL, Brian Lightman states that the inspection system has significant problems, including confusion about what Ofsted inspectors are looking for, as well as “a culture of fear around inspection which hampers innovation and sensible risk-taking”.

Further reports are expected from Civitas and Policy Exchange, which are also likely to criticise the current inspection regime. Proposal from ASCL include:

  • A key approach with several years passing between inspections of good schools.
  • Greater use of data and a school’s own monitoring programme with short visits by a single inspector to check the school’s development matches reality.
  • Troubled schools to be given time to turn around.


  • Charity registration
  • Restructuring
  • Governance and constitutional issues
  • Trustees' duties and responsibilities
  • Mergers and joint working
  • Commercial contracts
  • Company law and company secretarial
  • Regulations and compliance
  • Strategy and sustainability
  • Funding