Ofsted chiefs give evidence to the education select committee
November 9, 2017
Last week, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, and Chair of Ofsted, Julius Weinberg, gave evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee.
Of particular interest, Ms Spielman outlined that she had “some level of discomfort” about Ofsted outstanding “because the noise in the sector is very clear”; a direct reference to those in favour of scrapping the grade. Yet she also conceded that “the noise from parents is in a very different place” and that Ofsted were “looking at how we reconcile” these different views.
On academies, Ms Spielman reasserted her wish for Ofsted to have the power to inspect multi academy trusts (MATs) on a “whole level basis”, noting that, “the view we can get by just looking at a subset of schools in a MAT is more limited” in comparison. Responding to questions of the tension between the relationship of Ofsted and the Regional Schools Commissioners (RSC), Ms Spielman outlined that Ofsted were absolutely clear on their role but suggested that there was some “fuzziness” around the RSC’s remit.
Ms Spielman also raised some concerns around the quality of early years’ providers, despite 93% being rated “good” or “outstanding”. She stated that “the looking after children side is pretty good, the education side is not very strong”. In relation to compliance with the early years’ foundation stage framework, she also suggested that “full compliance with the framework still doesn’t mean that children are well prepared for primary school”. Ofsted will be doing more work around how “improvement on the education side” can be made.