No recruitment now of lay inspectors
Recruitment and selection of inspectors rigorous and fair according to Ofsted
Ofsted has been under attack recently on a number of fronts, but it would be wrong to assume that it is sitting on its hands or is complacent. One charge against Ofsted is that it has contracted too few good teachers and Heads as inspectors and there has been some criticism about using outside contractors. However, Ofsted has recently changed its approach to recruitment in order to attract more senior leaders, such as serving headteachers, to inspection roles. Sir Michael Wilshaw says that ‘This new approach will enable current heads to work part-time as inspectors for up to two years, on secondment. Ofsted has recently recruited 50 Associate Inspectors under this scheme from both good and outstanding schools.’
Once recruited, HMI undertake a six-month probation period and ’are provided with comprehensive and high-quality training to equip them for their role. Trainees are subject to regular evaluation and feedback.’ According to Ofsted, ‘Established HMI have access to a wide range of professional development opportunities, including a number of dedicated national training events and conferences on specific topics.’
Significantly, Ofsted no longer employs Lay Inspectors, but currently holds contracts with three Inspection Service Providers (ISPs) who deliver school inspection services through
Additional Inspectors (AI). The ISPs currently holding contracts with Ofsted are CfBT
Education Trust, Serco Education and Children’s Services and Tribal Group.
Schedule 6 of each contract sets out the obligations of each ISP in relation to the recruitment and selection of AIs who undertake schools inspection. The Schedule states that recruitment and selection procedures must be rigorous and applied fairly. The Schedule clearly defines the role of AIs as well as the qualifications, experience and essential competencies that they must hold.
ISPs are required to provide AI training, and Ofsted works closely with them to ensure both the quality and consistency of approach. Each AI must be signed off by an Ofsted HMI as part of the training process
Source -Letter from Sir Michael Wilshaw to Lord Storey 31 March 2014