INSPECTING ACADEMY CHAINS-WILL IT HAPPEN? IT ALREADY IS

 

No formal moves yet  but in practice chains are being scrutinised

When will Ofsted formally inspect Academy chains? After all, Sir Michael Wilshaw seems to be in favour of chain inspections.  The truth is that Ofsted is already pretty much on the case. Witness Ofsteds   treatment of the E-ACT  chain .It was  subjected to what was   termed a’ focused inspection’, although  it was, in effect, a chain inspection, in all but name  . Ofsted inspects academy chains currently through what it calls ‘batched inspections of schools within chains’. Ofsted, of course, has previously inspected a group of academies within the AET chain. The AET approach in the eyes of ministers is seen as  effective ,  so there are no plans to widen Ofsted’s role, for example,  in   inspecting  chains head offices.  But for how much longer? Particularly as the government itself is expressing concerns over some  of the chains’ impact on outcomes,( a minority it has to be said), and the  apparent unwillingness  of some to innovate ,  while  concurrently preventing some chains from  expanding (around 14 at the last count).

Ministers though look unlikely to budge on this, and believe that Ofsted is doing more than enough at the moment , combined with the DFEs own efforts ,to hold chains  properly to   account without burdening them with more red tape.

 

 

 

 

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