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Leadership & Management
Items related to leadership and management in education.

Updated guidance on making complaints about OFSTED.


We aim to carry out all of our work to a high standard but recognise that, occasionally, concerns may arise about our actions or the conduct of our staff. This policy sets out our approach and procedures for handling complaints about Ofsted.

2. Our definition of a complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about our actions that requires an investigation. We take complaints seriously and do what we can to resolve issues of concern promptly.

3. However, importantly, we will not change our inspection judgements or regulatory decisions simply because they are disappointing to the provider or user of a service, or because improvements in provision have been made since the inspection or are promised in the future.


4. If you complain to us, we will:


deal with your complaint fairly, thoroughly and objectively


where appropriate, acknowledge if our work has not met our usual high standards and take steps to remedy the situation


learn from complaints to improve the way we work and how our staff carry out their roles


respect confidentiality as far as possible, both for those who complain and those who are the subject of a complaint. However, the identity of complainants will be revealed to the persons complained about when their response is essential in order for us to investigate and respond fully and fairly to your concerns


aim to resolve your complaint without the need for you to seek advice from third parties.


Read the full updated guidance.

Ofsted research into lesson obsevation.

Foreword from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector

At the end of last year, I was delighted to host Ofsted’s first international research seminar, the focus of which was lesson observation. Observation is an important part of an inspector’s toolkit, particularly for making judgements on the quality of teaching. As part of our strategy, we are committed to constantly improving the validity of inspection so that our judgements of schools are the best reflection of the quality of education they can be. Scrutinising the reliability and validity of inspection methods is an important part of improving validity overall. The seminar was set up with this purpose in mind.

We invited 14 experts from around the world to share their knowledge on lesson observation. Over the course of the two days at the seminar, there were many enlightening and sometimes challenging discussions. In no area was there more debate than on the key question of: ‘what changes should Ofsted consider in developing lesson observation for its 2019 inspection framework?’

Read the full report.

HMCI responds to National Audit Office report.

News story    

    HMCI responds to National Audit Office report  

    Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, responds to the National Audit Office (NAO) report, 'Ofsted's inspections of schools'.  

Amanda Spielman

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector said:

Like much of the public sector, we are operating in a difficult financial climate. As the report acknowledges, the envelope provided by the Department for Education for school inspection is 52% less, in real terms, than it was in 2000. This means that we have had to make tough decisions about how we prioritise resources. I am confident that Ofsted gets the balance right. For example, by focusing more resource on inspection of schools that are less than good. An increase in either the number of inspections or time spent on inspection will quite simply require greater funding.

Ofsted is only one lever in the school system, which is why it has proven difficult for the NAO to judge our impact and value for money. As we have made clear to the NAO, judging ourselves against school outcomes would inevitably create perverse incentives. We exist to provide an objective account of the quality of the nation’s schools.

The NAO’s conclusion that we cannot prove the value for money we represent is explicitly not the same as demonstrating that we do not provide value, particularly considering that the costs of our school inspection work represents just 0.1% of the overall school budget. We are confident we compare well against other school inspectorates internationally, something the NAO did not look at.

We recognise that in 2015, a year in which we were also required to hand back £6m of our agreed budget, our decision to raise workforce standards resulted in reduced numbers of inspectors and therefore created short term challenges around deployment and the volumes of inspections achieved. These issues have now been resolved and our workforce quality is better than ever.

All of the NAO’s further recommendations are ones we were already in the process of addressing.

The National Audit Office report on Ofsted's inspection of schools.


23 Ofsted has taken action to reduce the burden of inspections on schools but the messages have not reached all teachers.

In our survey of headteachers whose schools had been inspected since September 2015, 54% of respondents agreed that the burdens placed on the school were proportionate in order for Ofsted to form a reliable judgement, while 29% disagreed. Ofsted has sought to lessen demands on schools, including by reducing the notice period for an inspection to half a day and emphasising that inspection requires no special preparation. In January 2016, Ofsted launched a ‘myth-busting’ campaign to dispel common misconceptions about what it expects to see during an inspection that can result in schools doing unnecessary work. The campaign has been welcomed by teaching unions but its messages have not permeated throughout the school system. Ofsted’s 2017 teacher attitude survey found that 69% of teachers had not heard anything about the campaign (paragraphs 3.14 to 3.17).

Read the full report

Extra support announced for those working below the national curriculum.

Extra support for schools with pupils working below the national curriculum to help all children reach their potential has been announced today (24 May) by Education Minister, Nick Gibb.

Currently, a small number of pupils are unable to work to the standard of the national curriculum, with many of these pupils having special educational needs.

The pre-key stage standards have been developed with teachers and a range of other education experts and will help ensure these pupils are better supported to transition onto the national curriculum, when and if they are ready to do so. It will also give schools the information they need to make sure these children are realising their full potential, giving them the freedom to develop their own curriculum and assessments to meet the needs of their pupils.

Read more.


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