Ofsted document expresses concerns over decreasing budgets

Much fewer intensive inspections in future

An internal Ofsted document ,planning for its  future, titled  ‘The Future operating model programme’  ,of May 2014,  admits that a major factor informing its decision to stop  out sourcing  inspection contracts,  from  August next year, with  Serco, Tribal and CFBT Education Trust, worth around £40m, was  cost.

Ofsted had until very recently been expressing its absolute confidence in  its arrangements with private providers and the quality of inspections.   Indeed,  it did not accept criticisms that,  for example, inspectors were  favouring a particular style of teaching. So, Providers  were somewhat taken aback by how quickly things changed . It is now becoming clearer that costs were a major factor informing the Ofsted  decision.

The document states ‘We are facing decreasing budget in future years and need to ensure that we are appropriately organised to address the financial challenges ahead. Our future delivery approach must not tie us in to restrictive contracts or require us to pay a premium for flexibility and must improve improve the quality of inspection’. It also states that the ‘the number of  intensive high cost inspections will be reduced   and we can invest more in the quality of inspections by increasing the numbers of highly regarded   HMIs , and utilising more  serving head teachers and senior leaders to work alongside HMI as Associate Inspectors’.

It adds ‘Our ability to flex our resourcing is also important and we do not want to have the market to deliver this flexibility. We will want to be able to turn resource on and off as required without being locked in to  fixed price or ‘volume banded’ contracts’.




Prospects Services undertakes some early years’ inspection and regulation in the north of England and the Midland



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