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Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills Non-ministerial government department overview Formed 1992 (1992) Jurisdiction England Headquarters Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann's Square, Manchester, M2 7LA Employees 2,317 Annual budget £217 million (2009-2010) [1] Non-ministerial government department executive Christine Gilbert CBE, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills Website The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England (HMCI).[2] HMCI and Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMI) are appointed by Order-in-Council and are thus office holders under the Crown. Though the inspectorate has existed since the mid-19th century, the office was reorganised under the Education (Schools) Act 1992, and is explicitly named in the Education and Inspections Act 2006. The services Ofsted inspects or regulates include: local services, childminding, child day care, children’s centres, children’s social care, Cafcass, state schools, independent schools and teacher training providers, colleges and learning and skills providers in England. It also monitors the work of the Independent Schools Inspectorate.[3] HMI are empowered and required to provide independent advice to the United Kingdom government and parliament on matters of policy and to publish an annual report to parliament on the quality of educational provision in England. The Education and Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education in Scotland, and Estyn in Wales perform similar functions within their education systems. Ofsted's head office is in Kingsway, Holborn in central London. Contents 1 History 2 Inspectors 3 School inspections 3.1 System of inspection before 2005 3.2 Current system of inspection 3.3 Special measures 4 Home educator inspections 5 Child care inspections 5.1 Child protection 6 In popular culture 7 See also 8 References 9 External links History In 1833, the government introduced an annual grant to the National Society and the British and Foreign School Society, which respectively provided Church of England and non-denominational elementary schools for poor children. To monitor the effectiveness of the grant, two inspectors of schools were appointed in 1837, Seymour Tremenheere and the Revd John Allen. Dr J.P. Kay-Shuttleworth, then secretary of the Privy Council education committee, ensured that the inspectors were appointed by order-in-council to guard their independence.[4] The grant and inspection system were extended in 1847 to Roman Catholic elementary schools established by the Catholic Poor School Committee.[5] Inspectors were organised on denominational lines, with the churches having a say in the choice of inspectors, until 1876, when inspectors were re-organised by area. After the Education Act 1902, inspections were expanded to state-funded secondary schools along similar lines. Over time, more inspections were carried out by inspectors based in Local Education Authorities, with HMI focussing on reporting to the Secretary of State on education conditions across the country.[6] The government of John Major, concerned about variable local inspection regimes, decided to introduce a national scheme of inspections though a reconstituted HMI, which became known as the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Under the Education (Schools) Act 1992, HMI would supervise the inspection of each state-funded school in the country, and would publish its reports instead of reporting to the Secretary of State.[7] In September 2001, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England became responsible for registration and inspection of day care and childminding in England. Previously this was done by 150 local authorities, based on their implementation by 1992 of the Daycare Standards provisions of the 1989 Children Act.[8] In April 2007 the former Office for Standards in Education merged with the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) to provide an inspection service which includes all post-16 government funded education (but not Higher Education Institutes and Universities which are inspected by the Quality Assurance Agency). At the same time it took on responsibility for the registration and inspection of social care services for children, and the welfare inspection of independent and maintained boarding schools from the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI).[9] Inspectors HM Chief Inspector is Christine Gilbert CBE, who started this role on 1 October 2006. One of her key briefs is to oversee the expansion of Ofsted's remit from April 2007 to include the inspection of children's social services, adult learning and aspects of court administration, as this relates to children.[10] Ofsted directly employs Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI), who are appointed by the Queen in Council. As of July 2009[update] there were 443 HMIs, of which 82 were engaged in management, 245 in the inspection of schools and the rest in inspection of other areas for which Ofsted in responsible. All HMIs inspecting schools have teaching experience.[11][12] Most school inspections are carried out by Additional Inspectors (AI) employed by external companies known as Regional Inspection Service Providers (RISPs). As of July 2009[update] there were 1,948 AIs, of whom 1,567 inspect schools. Almost all of these have teaching experience, except for a few retained from the previous regime in which each inspection team included a lay inspector.[12][13] An HMI accompanies an AI on 6–7% of inspections,[12] including 75% of those of secondary schools.[7] Reports produced by RISPs must be checked and signed off by HMI, sometimes with amendments, before publication. New Additional Inspectors must be monitored and signed off by HMI before working independently.[14] The number of RISPs contracted to conduct school inspections was reduced in 2009 from five to three:[13][15] CfBT Education Trust, covering the North of England Serco Education and Children's Services, covering the English Midlands Tribal Group, covering the South of England In addition, HMCI directly employs child care inspectors (CCI) who inspect and regulate early years settings and child care. Many of these transferred from local councils or from the Commission for Social Care Inspection when it was abolished in March 2009.[16] School inspections The Office carries out regular inspections of each school in England, resulting in a published evaluation of the effectiveness of the school. An adverse report may include a recommendation for further intervention in the running of the school. System of inspection before 2005 Critics of the system of inspection claim that the short amount of time in which HMI get to see the school does not accurately represent the day-to-day activities and can give a biased view. Prior to 2005, each school was inspected for a week every six years, with two months notice to prepare for an inspection. This regime was criticised by teachers and school heads as greatly disruptive of the operation of the school, and by others as enabling schools to present an unrealistic picture of themselves that did not truly reflect the quality of teaching and learning in the school.[17][18] Current system of inspection In September 2005 a new system of short notice inspections came into being. Under this system the senior leadership of each school are strongly encouraged to complete a Self Evaluation Form (SEF) on a continual basis, which requires them to be aware of strengths and areas for development. Inspections are generally two or three day visits every three years, with two days notice. They focus on the "central nervous system" of the school – examining how well the school is managed, and what processes are in place to ensure standards of teaching and learning improve; the school leadership and management are expected to be aware of everything in the SEF. The SEF serves as the main document when planning the inspection, and is crucial in evaluating the quality of leadership and management and the school's capacity to improve.[17][19] After an inspection of a school, Ofsted publishes a report on the school on its website. In addition to written comments on a number of areas, schools are assessed on each area and overall on a 4-point scale: 1 (Outstanding), 2 (Good), 3 (Satisfactory) and 4 (Inadequate). Schools rated Outstanding or Good might not be inspected again for five years, while schools judged less favourably are inspected more frequently, and may receive little or no notice of inspection visits.[19] Figures published in March 2010, show that revised inspection criteria, which were introduced in September 2009, have resulted in a reduction from 19% to 9% in the number of schools judged to be outstanding, and an increase from 4% to 10% in the number of schools judged to be inadequate.[20] Special measures Sometimes a school is placed into special measures if it is judged as 'inadequate' (Grade 4) in one or more areas and if the inspectors have decided it does not have the capacity to improve without additional help. Schools placed into special measures receive intensive support from local authorities, additional funding and resourcing, and frequent reappraisal from Ofsted until the school is no longer deemed to be failing. Furthermore, the senior managers and teaching staff can be dismissed and the governing body may be replaced by an appointed Interim Executive Board (IEB). Schools which are failing but where inspectors consider there is capacity to improve are given a Notice to Improve (NtI).[21][22] Home educator inspections Although home education is outside Ofsted's remit, they are actively involved in shaping policy for the inspection and regulation of home educators through support of the recommendations of the Badman Review. Ofsted's submission to the review indicated a wish to take inspections further and recommended that parents be subject to Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks before being allowed to home educate their own children.[23][24] Child care inspections This section requires expansion. Child protection Ofsted also oversees Child Protection by English Local Authorities. In December 2008, Christine Gilbert revealed that Ofsted had been gullible: good ratings could be given, based purely on data submitted directly by local authority providers of care services, that could easily be concealing dangerously flawed practices. This was considered a factor, by The Daily Telegraph, in overlooking alleged inadequacies in Haringey Council's child care provision in the case of Baby P,[25] a child murdered by his parents and their lodger.[26] MPs criticised Ofsted for issuing a favourable report on Haringey Children's Services three months after the death, and for their policy of destroying all source materials on inspections of children's services after three months, which made it impossible to identify the mistakes made. According to Ofsted, three children died in England and Wales from abuse every week between April 2007 and August 2008. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children gives a figure of 1 to 2 per week.[27] In popular culture Hope And Glory, a BBC television drama featuring actor/comedian Lenny Henry, gave an insight into a fictional portrayal of teachers dealing with a school in Special Measures.[28] OFSTED! The Musical was launched in 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[29] The piece enjoyed a total sell-out run at Venue 45 and won the Writers' Guild Award for Drama 2004 and the List Magazine Award.[30] The musical was later broadcast on Teachers TV as part of their launch night schedule.[31] See also Education in England References ^ Ofsted Resource Accounts 2009-2010, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills, 2010-07-22,, retrieved 2010-12-18  ^ "Ofsted".$366583.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-28.  ^ Memorandum submitted by Mrs Stella R Davis, The Work of Ofsted, Children, Schools and Families Committee – Written Evidence, House of Commons, 9 February 2009. ^ Cannon, John (2002). "HMI". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 10 January 2010.  ^ McLaughlin, Terence H.; O'Keefe, Joseph; O'Keeffe, Bernadette (1996). "Setting the scene: current realities and historical perspectives". In McLaughlin, Terence; O'Keeffe, Bernadette. The contemporary Catholic school: context, identity, and diversity. Routledge. pp. 1–21. ISBN 9780750704717.  ^ "Education: Inspectorate and HMI Reports". Domestic Records Information 127. National Digital Archive of Datasets. Retrieved 10 January 2010.  ^ a b (7 January 2010) Children, Schools and Families Committee – First Report: School Accountability. House of Commons. (Report). Retrieved 10 January 2010. ^ Plomin, Joe (3 September 2001). "Ofsted to inspect pre-schools". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ Carvel, John; Ward, Lucy (28 March 2007). "Same name, new recipe". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ Wilby, Peter (27 November 2007). "Raising the bar". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ "How to become an Additional Inspector for school inspection". Ofsted.  ^ a b c Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 6 July 2009, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 9 July 2009, column 997W.. ^ a b "Our partners". Ofsted.  ^ Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 19 December 2006, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 19 Dec 2006, column 1882W.. ^ Ofsted (25 March 2009). "New inspection contracts signed". Press release.  ^ "Childcare regulation and the law". Merton Council. 4 April 2008.  ^ a b McNulty, Bernadette (10 February 2004). "Teachers torn over inspection reform". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ Clare, John (10 February 2004). "Schools to get just 48 hours' warning of Ofsted visits". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ a b Schools, Office for Standards in Education. ^ "More schools are failing Ofsted checks". BBC News. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ "Work with Schools Causing Concern". Ofsted.  ^ "Schools Causing Concern". Department for Children, Schools and Families.  ^ Memorandum submitted by Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted), UK Parliament, September 2009. ^ Sugden, Joanna (14 September 2009). "Parents protest at Ofsted inspections for children taught at home". The Times (London). Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ Gammell, Caroline; Simpson, Aislinn (5 December 2008). "Head of Ofsted Christine Gilbert admits failings over death of Baby P". The Telegraph.  ^ Lakhani, Nina; Johnson, Andrew (16 November 2008). "Nasty, brutish and short: The horrific life of Baby P". The Independent.  ^ Gammell, Caroline (10 December 2008). "Three children die from abuse every week, Ofsted chief Christine Gilbert reveals". The Telegraph.  ^ Phibbs, Harry (20 November 2008). "Details of Lenny Henry and OFSTED related Drama Hope And Glory". London: Retrieved 2008-12-10.  ^ "OFSTED! The Musical". PIT Theatre. Retrieved 2008-12-10.  ^ "BBC Article about the multi-award winning OFSTED! The Musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2004". 26 August 2004. Retrieved 2008-12-10.  ^ "OFSTED! The Musical online at Teachers TV". Retrieved 2008-12-10.  External links Official website v · d · eDepartments of the Government of the United Kingdom Ministerial departments Attorney General's Office · Cabinet Office · Department for Business, Innovation and Skills · Department for Communities and Local Government · Department for Culture, Media and Sport · Department for Education · Department of Energy and Climate Change · Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs · Department for International Development · Department for Transport · Department for Work and Pensions · Department of Health · Export Credits Guarantee Department · Foreign and Commonwealth Office · Government Equalities Office · Her Majesty's Treasury · Home Office · Ministry of Defence · Ministry of Justice · Northern Ireland Office · Office of the Advocate General for Scotland · Office of the Leader of the House of Commons · Office of the Leader of the House of Lords · Scotland Office · Wales Office Non-ministerial departments Central Office of Information · Charity Commission for England and Wales · Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt · Crown Estate · Crown Prosecution Service · Food Standards Agency · Forestry Commission · Government Actuary's Department · Her Majesty's Land Registry · Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs · National School of Government · Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills · Office of Fair Trading · Office of Gas and Electricity Markets · Office of Rail Regulation · Office of the Parliamentary Counsel · Ordnance Survey · Postal Services Commission · Public Works Loan Board · Serious Fraud Office · The National Archives · Treasury Solicitor's Department · UK Statistics Authority · UK Trade & Investment · Water Services Regulation Authority