Scope of the inquiry
The Committee will question HM Chief Inspector about the Government’s responses to the Committee’s recommendations on Ofsted’s inspection of schools.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people and services that provide education and skills for learners of all ages. Ofsted seeks to be “a force for improvement through intelligent, responsible and focused inspection and regulation”.
The Committee took evidence from HM Chief Inspector and DfE in June 2018 on the basis of the NAO report on Ofsted’s inspection of schools. The Committee’s subsequent report, published in September 2018, concluded that Ofsted was not providing the level of independent assurance about the quality of education that schools and parents need. The Committee made recommendations to Ofsted and DfE aimed at making school inspection more efficient and effective.
One of the recommendations was that HM Chief Inspector should write to the Committee with her reflections on the main risks to schools’ effectiveness and the systemic causes of poor performance, including the impact of funding pressures. HM Chief Inspector's letter on 30 October 2018 covered a range of issues including: funding; loss of substance in the curriculum; the off-rolling of pupils to boost results; intractable schools that have performed poorly for a long time; and unregistered schools.
The Committee will question HM Chief Inspector about the Government’s responses to the Committee’s recommendations on Ofsted’s inspection of schools. Members will also use the hearing to explore the major risks to the quality of education and school effectiveness that HM Chief Inspector outlined in her letter to the Committee in October 2018. Moreover, Members may wish to ask about the main issues affecting the sectors that Ofsted inspects and regulates, as set out in her annual report for 2017/18.