School Accountability - Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents



1.  Since its establishment in the autumn of 2007, this Committee has been engaged in a series of inquiries which have looked at the pillars on which the national management of our school education system is founded. In May 2008, we published our report on Testing and Assessment in schools and the wide-ranging and often damaging consequences of our national testing regime.[1] Then, in April 2009, we reported on our inquiry into the National Curriculum, which we found to be overly prescriptive of what teachers could do with their class time.[2] This inquiry into School Accountability is the third and last in the series. Our Report considers the roles of a variety of different agents for accountability in the English school system: schools themselves, including their governing bodies; local authorities and the School Improvement Partners they appoint; the main schools inspectorate, Ofsted; and central government, which sets policy and compiles information on each school which is made publicly available by way of the Achievement and Attainment Tables.

2.  This Report considers accountability arrangements for mainstream primary and secondary provision in the maintained sector in England. It does not consider early years, sixth form or further education provision, or provision by independent schools not inspected by Ofsted; nor, except insofar as they are referred to specifically, does it consider the particular circumstances of Academies, which are accountable to the Secretary of State through the Young People's Learning Agency. The Committee noted that there were some additional serious accountability issues associated with Academies, not least those arising from the limited role of local authorities and the central involvement of Academy sponsors.[3] In its report on the National Curriculum, the Committee raised concerns about the different requirements on Academies in relation to the National Curriculum.[4] In the current inquiry, the Committee chose to focus on issues relevant to all schools rather than those that apply specifically to academies.

3.  It is difficult to draw the line between accountability and arrangements for school improvement. Although this Report is primarily concerned with the mechanisms of school accountability, we also discuss the processes which are in place to promote school improvement because the two areas are in some respects inextricably linked. We will not, however, undertake an exhaustive account of school improvement policy and practice as this is largely outside the remit of our inquiry.

4.  We issued our Terms of Reference and Call for Evidence on 18 December 2008. Since then, we have taken a broad range of evidence, both written and oral, on school accountability from a wide variety of stakeholders. In addition, we travelled to New York and Washington, DC to see for ourselves how school accountability policy is formulated and practised at both federal and state level in the United States. New York uses a school report card as part of its accountability system, and it was the model to which the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families referred when he announced the new school report card proposed by the Government for implementation in England.[5] We were grateful to the many organisations and individuals we met on our visit for being so generous with their time, views and information. They provided us with a broader context for our assessment of the strengths and weakness of the accountability system in England and helped us to formulate our views on the fundamental principles of accountability. The following paragraphs will outline the aspects of the school accountability system which we will consider in detail in this Report.


5.  We start by considering the context in which schools operate. Schools are, first and foremost, responsible for their own improvement, with the governing body setting the strategic framework.[6] In recent years, schools have increasingly been encouraged to formalise the self-evaluation process as part of their improvement strategy, culminating in the requirement by Ofsted that they provide a written self-evaluation form to inspectors as evidence of their work in this area. Schools are assisted in their self-evaluation and improvement processes by School Improvement Partners (SIPs) who are appointed by the local authority. SIPs provide support and challenge to schools and help them to commission the services they need to improve their performance.

6.  School provision is commissioned by local authorities, who also have a remit to monitor local schools' performance. Local authorities monitor the performance of schools in their area using a variety of sources of information, including the SIPs they appoint, data provided by the school and Ofsted inspection judgements. Local authorities often use informal mechanisms to challenge schools and support them in making necessary improvements. However, local authorities can, and sometimes must, use their statutory powers of intervention where there are concerns that a school is not performing to an expected standard.[7]


7.  In this inquiry, we have focused on the work of Ofsted in the maintained schools sector and have not considered the work of other inspectorates, such as the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The remit of Ofsted was broadened significantly from 1 April 2007 when it became The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. HM Chief Inspector is now responsible both for school inspection and for inspection of a very wide range of settings and services connected with children and skills more generally. We take regular evidence from HM Chief Inspector on the full range of her responsibilities. This Committee and its predecessor have published a series of evidence and reports setting out findings on the details of Ofsted's work and practice.[8] It is not intended, therefore, to duplicate some of this work here: this inquiry has focused more on whether a school inspectorate is a necessary component of an accountability system, what its role should be, what its aims should be and what outcomes should be expected. School inspection reports are a major source of information about a school's performance, and inspection is often the trigger for a school to address its performance issues. It is in this context that we examine the role of the inspectorate in the accountability system.


8.  Other major sources of information about schools are the Achievement and Attainment Tables, formerly known as performance tables, compiled and published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The tables contain statistical information on the school cohort, test results, a contextual value added measure,[9] a series of comparative annual data on test scores, statistics on absence, and statistics on pupils with special educational needs (SEN). The tables have been the subject of controversy for many years because, although they do not actually rank schools according to their performance in national examinations, they permit others, especially the media, to do so.[10] This is considered unfair by those who argue that the Achievement and Attainment Tables in general, and test scores in particular, give only a partial view of a school's overall performance.[11] The Government's proposal for a new school report card is an attempt to address this issue, amongst others, by providing more information on a wider range of performance indicators. We consider the consequences of the Achievement and Attainment Tables, how the school report card might change the accountability landscape, and how useful these tools are for parents and others who are interested in a school's performance.


9.  The final part of our analysis considers some cross-cutting issues which are relevant to all three of the preceding areas of discussion. A number of messages have emerged from the evidence submitted to this inquiry. First, the school accountability and improvement system has become extremely complex, with new programmes and policies emerging piecemeal from central government over a number of years to produce an intricate accountability system, with multiple lines of accountability to different bodies for different purposes. Linked to this is the impression that some major elements of the accountability system are giving conflicting messages, leading schools, parents and others to worry about the consistency of the various mechanisms which are supposed to hold schools to account and support them towards better performance. Finally, schools are receiving mixed messages from the Government and Ofsted about who and what is driving school improvement. The language of self-evaluation and schools taking charge of their own improvement processes permeates many official documents, yet the reality is rather different. Schools in need of improvement are still subject to programmes devised and applied by central government through its agencies and have limited control over the improvement programmes to which they are subject.


10.  In setting the scene for this inquiry, the first, and most obvious, question is whether we need an accountability system at all. We found a general consensus in the evidence submitted to us that schools should be held accountable for their performance. We received no evidence from witnesses arguing that there should be no accountability system, nor have we received evidence arguing against an independent regulator charged with inspecting schools and reporting on standards. Indeed, there were some unfavourable references to the situation which obtained prior to the introduction of the National Curriculum, with its associated tests and performance reporting, introduced in the Education Reform Act 1988; and of the modern, centralised inspectorate, constituted under the Education (Schools) Act 1992.[12] A survey of parents by the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) found that 96% agreed that it was important for parents to know how well each school performs; 87% of parents wanted to be able to compare schools; and 90% wanted to be able to compare the performance of schools that were alike in terms of context, location and circumstances. 78% thought that Ofsted inspections were of value to parents.[13]

11.  Many witnesses stated that it is appropriate that schools should be held accountable, not only for their academic standards, but also for their wider contributions, especially in terms of child welfare and the Every Child Matters outcomes.[14] The NCPTA survey found that 78% of parents considered test results to be an important measure of school performance, but 96% wanted test results to be part of a wider range of information, including pupil health and other outcomes.[15]

12.  It is worth noting the reasons given in the evidence for having an accountability system. Many witnesses stated that the fact that schools were funded with public money and provided an important public service was reason enough that they should be held publicly accountable.[16] The NASUWT echoed the views of other witnesses in saying that:

As a publicly-funded universal state service, the education system is held and managed in the public interest and must, therefore, be accountable at national and local level to those democratically elected by the public.

In a similar vein, Keith Bartley, Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE), told us that:

Education is a major public service affecting the life chances of every child and young person, and it must therefore be held to public account.[17]

This last statement also points towards other justifications for the accountability system, which look to its purposes over and above the basic proposition that public services ought to be run properly. Schools are viewed as providing a critical public service in that they are concerned with the fundamentally important task of educating and shaping children and young people. For this reason, public accountability is seen as the means by which to secure the standards of service which are considered necessary to assure the welfare of pupils and the best possible educational and social outcomes for individuals.[18] However, the current accountability system remains focused on test results and contextual value added measures derived from them. Even Ofsted places heavy emphasis on test results when coming to an inspection judgement. The accountability system will require significant development and reform before it is to move beyond the current, academic attainment-based system and become broad enough to take significant account of the welfare of and outcomes for pupils, as suggested in the 21st Century Schools White Paper.[19]

13.  The final group of justifications for a school accountability system focuses more specifically on school improvement than on pupil outcomes. Put another way, accountability mechanisms are a means to draw attention to the need for improvement and to unlock the available resources for supporting that improvement. The Royal Statistical Society presented a vision of an accountability system which supported teacher and school improvement rather than identifying failure. It stated:

Every child needs to attend a good school so a key purpose of the accountability system should be to identify what schools need to improve and what support (if any) they require.[20]

The GTCE considered that, given the resources necessarily invested in meeting accountability requirements, an accountability framework should serve both the aims of scrutiny and practice improvement.[21] Ofsted explained its role in the current system as inspecting and regulating in order to promote excellence and considers that it has been successful in this respect in that the proportion of good and outstanding schools, as judged by Ofsted, has increased from 59% in 2005-06 to 64% in 2007-08.[22]

14.  However, we should maintain a clear distinction between the accountability of a school for its performance and the consequences of its being held to account which, according to many witnesses, should include improvements in school performance, pupil well-being and outcomes. Insofar as these latter considerations are used as a justification for an accountability system, it is very much a functional, rather than a principled, justification.

15.  We are satisfied that schools should be held publicly accountable for their performance as providers of an important public service. We concur with the views expressed in evidence to us that the two major consequences of the accountability system should be school improvement and improvement in broader outcomes for children and young people, including well-being.

16.  If there has been broad consensus in principle on the need for an accountability system which leads to school improvement and enhanced well-being and other outcomes for pupils, there has been considerable disagreement about the details of how the accountability system should work and the precise effect the current system has on schools. In the next section, we outline the current accountability system, before moving on in the following chapters to consider in turn the different elements of that system.


17.  Prior to the major reforms of the education system started in the late 1980s, schools were largely responsible for their own curricula and national testing was limited to the 16+ age group. Inspection was carried out by Local Education Authority-employed inspectors. In 1988, the Education Reform Act started a process of centralisation of the schools system by introducing the National Curriculum and allowing for national testing at regular intervals for younger children and associated national performance reporting on the basis of these test results. Later, the Education (Schools) Act 1992 reformed the inspectorate into a national institution under Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England. The Chief Inspector's office became known as Ofsted and it has overseen a national set of standards across England ever since.


18.  The recent background to the current school accountability system is largely provided by the Government's New Relationship with Schools reforms, introduced in 2004.[23] The centralisation of the schools system had, over time, produced an increasingly complex system of regulation and requirements for schools. As a result of this, the Government stated that, under the New Relationship with Schools:

We set ourselves the task of delivering an intelligent accountability framework, a simplified school improvement process and improved data and information systems.[24]

19.  In essence, the New Relationship with Schools was intended to help schools raise standards, with clearer priorities and less bureaucracy, and to provide more information for parents. It was also intended to support schools as they implemented the Every Child Matters agenda, facilitating schools' involvement with local children's trusts and helping schools adapt to the multi-agency working and joint-commissioning structures being put in place. Major points of the New Relationship with Schools were:

  • School Improvement Partners (SIPs): introduced to help school leaders to evaluate their school's performance, identify priorities for improvement and draw up improvement plans.
  • The reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy: multi-year school budgets were introduced, with fewer distinct funding streams, to promote greater certainty and predictability for schools in their future funding. Schools were allowed to produce a single school plan to use for multiple purposes. The monthly mailing of paper to schools was stopped and a more modern system of communication put in place.
  • Building the capacity of schools to drive their own improvement: more emphasis was placed on self-evaluation, which was to form the basis for planning, inspection and SIPs' work with schools. Schools were required to ensure that their approach to self-evaluation was appropriate. To this end, the DfES and Ofsted jointly published high-level guidance for schools, A New Relationship with Schools: Improving performance through school self-evaluation and development planning. The Implementation Review Unit also published guidance on completing the self-evaluation form.
  • Establishing a more intelligent, coherent, evidence-based accountability framework. This included the goal of providing to parents and the general public a broad and balanced view of a school. The chosen tool was the new School Profile, which combined standardised data with a school's description of its own work. The School Profile was intended to replace the need for the statutory requirements for governors to hold an annual meeting with parents and to produce an annual report to parents. In addition, given that the School Profile was supposed to promote a balanced picture of a school, the requirements for the school prospectus were simplified to allow greater flexibility over what was included.
  • Making better use of data: use of the latest electronic data and information systems was intended to make interpretation of pupils' progress fairer and reflect the context of the school. These systems were also intended to help schools make contact more easily with other practitioners to support individual children with additional needs.
  • Securing better alignment between schools' priorities and the priorities of local and central government.[25]

20.  The New Relationship with Schools was also meant to facilitate schools' involvement with local children's trusts and help schools adapt to the multi-agency working and joint-commissioning structures being put in place under the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme.[26] The Common Assessment Framework being introduced under that programme was intended to help schools to identify their role in meeting pupils' needs and to target referral to other specialist services when needed. Schools would be able to work with local children's trusts to find places for hard-to-place pupils. In that sense, the New Relationship with Schools was intended to support the five Every Child Matters outcomes for all children:

  • being healthy;
  • staying safe;
  • enjoying and achieving;
  • making a positive contribution; and
  • achieving economic well-being.

21.  The elements of the New Relationship with Schools which pertain to inspection were backed up with the necessary primary legislation under the Education Act 2005. This inspection framework has been operational since September 2005 and is the system to which most evidence submitted to this inquiry refers. The 2005 regime introduced shorter and more regular inspections, known as Section 5 inspections;[27] shorter notice of inspection; and an inspection time of no more than two days. In addition, more emphasis was placed on a school's self-evaluation which, since 2005, has formed part of the evidence base which a school must provide to inspectors as part of the inspection. The categories of schools causing concern were simplified, so that a school would either be placed in special measures or be issued with notice to improve. The stated aim of this regime was to lighten the burden on schools while retaining a rigorous inspection system.

22.  Despite the aim of simplification underlying the New Relationship with Schools, the Government has nevertheless introduced myriad initiatives over the intervening years which were aimed at specific problems. Many of these have been delivered through the National Strategies, set up in 1998 as a professional development programme, but expanded since to cover a wide remit which includes support for and initiatives aimed at school improvement. A high-profile example of such an initiative is the National Challenge, a programme which targets schools which fall below the threshold of 30% of pupils achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE (including English and mathematics). The large number of new initiatives has led to the charge that accountability mechanisms operating on schools have become overly complex, leaving school leaders and others confused about which, sometimes conflicting, measures they should focus on, where the most suitable help might be available, and which initiatives are effective in promoting school improvement.[28]

23.  Professor Peter Tymms of Durham University pointed to another aspect of this problem of complexity which goes to the heart of policy-making. He told us that the questions set out in the call for evidence to this inquiry were "vital to the future of our educational system" but that satisfactory answers to these questions would be difficult to achieve, "given our present state of knowledge". He argued that the true consequences of using certain measures such as test scores and CVA for accountability purposes were impossible to ascertain:

This is because so many other things are happening simultaneously in our society and in our schools. There have been numerous initiatives: inspections have changed, the nature of the tests has changed, the population of school children has changed and so on. We are seeing changes in the schools but what has caused what? We simply cannot know, and that is a problem that faces us nationally and internationally.[29]

He urges policy makers to take an experimental approach to reform, testing different initiatives systematically in order to ascertain the precise effects they have on the education system. This would allow policies to be formulated on the basis of firm evidence of what works and what is less effective.[30]

24.  The New Relationship with Schools policy was a laudable attempt by the Government to simplify the school accountability system, particularly in relation to inspection. However, the Government has continued to subject schools to a bewildering array of new initiatives and this has in many ways negated the good work started in New Relationship with Schools.


25.  The Government's recent 21st Century Schools White Paper sets out the Government's current proposals for reform of the schools system and details plans in a number of different areas:

  • preparing children for the challenges of the 21st Century;
  • excellent teaching and additional help for children who need it;
  • partnership working for schools;
  • strong school accountability and rapid intervention where necessary;
  • the roles of local and central government in supporting and challenging schools; and
  • the provision of a skilled workforce with good leadership.[31]

For those parts of the White Paper concerned with accountability and school improvement, the Government's starting position is that every school is responsible for its own improvement and should be seeking to improve continuously. The Government wishes to move towards a "more differentiated approach, in which every school receives tailored challenge and support", to which end it proposes further reform of the accountability system with increased emphasis on progression in attainment and the wider aspects of school performance.[32] The essential components of the accountability regime under the proposed reforms are school self-evaluation, the school report card, Ofsted inspection and School Improvement Partners. The associated mechanisms are represented in Figure 1.[33]FIGURE 1

Source: DCSF (June 2009) Your child, your schools: building a 21st century schools system, Cm 7588, p61

26.  There have already been some moves towards a "differentiated approach" and the White Paper gives the example of the secondary school improvement strategy Promoting Excellence for All, published in June 2008. Within this strategy: the National Challenge is applied to schools with GCSE results which do not meet the minimum standard of 30% of pupils achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE including English and maths; and Gaining Ground addresses those schools whose pupils' achievement is above this threshold but who "are not making fast enough progress".[34]

27.  The White Paper proposes a further range of initiatives aimed at school improvement, including:

  • The Good and Great Schools programme: to include 'open door' visits so that schools can learn from each other's good practice; help for local authorities and schools to establish local groups to share expertise and key staff, and develop centres of excellence; and work with key stakeholders to build on the High Performing Specialist Schools programme to identify and reward the best schools. Consultation on these proposals will start in autumn 2009.[35]
  • Investigation into the causes of high in-school variance and volatility in performance. Work with some local authorities and schools to develop a voluntary collaborative programme to address these issues will begin in autumn 2009.[36]
  • More focus on primary schools which, whilst performing at or above the minimum target standard, show poor rates of progression or inconsistent results. Local authorities will be asked to develop tailored plans for primary school improvement and schools will be encouraged to work in partnership, with the best schools assisting others to improve. Relevant existing programmes will be expanded to help with primary school improvement.[37]
  • Extension of the Families of Schools approach nationally.[38] This is intended to encourage schools to visit each other and share best practice.[39]

28.  The White Paper states that the Department will largely cease to provide or fund directly the provision of school improvement support. The Department will assure a sufficient supply of improvement support from a range of different providers across the country. Individual schools will be enabled to identify for themselves, on the basis of self-evaluation and advice from their School Improvement Partner (SIP), the type of support they require and the resources they intend to invest.[40] The current, central contract for National Strategies will not be renewed and the funding will be delegated to schools; and it is intended that they, with their SIPs, will use it to invest in improving literacy, numeracy and other core skills.[41] The current centralised support for certain subject areas will continue only where there is a need for it, for example, to address a national shortage of teachers in a particular subject. Funding will be devolved where possible, in accordance with the new model, as current contracts come up for renewal.[42]

29.  To draw all of these measures together, the White Paper states that local authorities will be asked to draw up a costed menu of school improvement support services to cover all five Every Child Matters outcomes. The range of services should take into account the particular needs of local schools. The commissioning and brokering of support from a range of providers would gradually replace the employment of local consultants; and schools and SIPs would then be able to choose which services they require, regardless of provider.[43] Irrespective of the possible merits of this proposal, it seems to us that there is a distinct risk that it will add complexity to the process of school improvement and could place new burdens on local authorities.

30.  The Government states that, under the proposed reforms, externally-marked, national tests will remain central to the accountability system. Primary schools will be judged on Key Stage 2 test results (or single-level tests if, as intended, they replace Key Stage 2 tests) and secondary schools will be judged on their GCSE and Diploma results.[44] These performance measures have, until now, been reported in the Achievement and Attainment Tables. However, it is intended that these will be replaced by the school report card as the main source of accountability information from 2011. The school report card will set out the key outcomes expected of schools, to include pupil attainment, progress and wellbeing; reducing the impact of disadvantage; parents' and pupils' perceptions of the school and the support they receive; and, possibly, partnership working.[45] The legal requirement on schools to produce a School Profile, introduced under the New Relationship with Schools reforms, will be removed with the introduction of the school report card.[46]

31.  It is envisaged that the school report card and Ofsted inspection report will be "complementary and different evaluations of the school's work".[47] DCSF and Ofsted are working together to establish a consistent set of priorities for schools which will be reflected in the school report card, Ofsted inspection report and school self-evaluation form (SEF). The school report card will present quantitative information on an annual basis; the normally less frequent Ofsted report will present more qualitative information resulting from an inspection which is a snapshot of a school's performance. The latest Ofsted judgement will be reported on the school report card.[48]

32.  These proposed reforms tie in with Ofsted's new inspection framework, which took effect in September 2009.[49] This new framework applies to school provision for all age groups up to age 19, including all maintained schools, Academies, City Technology Colleges, City Colleges for the Technology of the Arts and some non-maintained special schools in England.[50]

33.  The new framework is intended to focus inspection resources where they are most needed. It extends the principle of proportionality, in that frequency of inspection will be proportionate to the need for inspection according to measures of past and present performance, including the result of a school's previous inspection and annual assessments of subsequent performance:

  • Schools judged good or outstanding in the previous Ofsted inspection will, subject to certain exceptions, be inspected at approximately five-year intervals. Ofsted will produce an interim report if a school is not to be inspected within a three-year period.
  • Schools judged satisfactory at the previous inspection will be inspected within a three-year period and about 40% of satisfactory schools will be subject to additional monitoring inspections to check on progress.
  • Schools previously judged inadequate will either have been placed in 'special measures' or given 'notice to improve'. They will receive monitoring visits and will be re-inspected following a specified period.[51]

34.  Schools will receive between zero and two days' notice of inspection; no notice is given of monitoring visits.[52] Before inspection, inspectors brief themselves with a range of information about the school, including previous inspection reports, the school's self-evaluation, Contextual Value Added data, and examination and survey data. Inspections will not normally last more than two days and more emphasis is now being placed on classroom observation than has been the case under the previous framework.[53]

35.  If the goal of simplifying the accountability system under New Relationship with Schools was never quite achieved, that goal is arguably even further away under the proposals in the White Paper. Even if the School Improvement Partner remains central to the accountability system, the sheer diversity of programmes inherent in the "more differentiated approach" signalled in the White Paper presents a barrier to simplicity.

36.  We are concerned that the Government's 21st Century Schools White Paper signals even greater complexity in an already overly complex system of school accountability and improvement initiatives. There is a real danger that schools may become overwhelmed by the intricacies of the proposed reforms and that School Improvement Partners and local authorities may not have sufficient time or resources to mediate effectively between schools and the myriad providers of school improvement support.

1   Testing and Assessment, Third Report of the Children, Schools and Families Committee, Session 2007-08, HC 169-I and HC 169-II Back

2   National Curriculum, Fourth Report of the Children, Schools and Families Committee, Session 2008-09, HC 334-I and HC 334-II Back

3   Curtis A., Exley S., Sasia A., Tough S., and Whitty G., The Academies programme: Progress, problems and possibilities, Sutton Trust and Institute of Education, University of London, December 2008 Back

4   National Curriculum, Fourth Report from the Committee, Session 2008-09, HC 344-I, paragraphs 70-75 Back

5   Statement by Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to the House, HC Deb, 14 Oct 2008, Col 677 Back

6   DfES and Ofsted (2004) A New Relationship, our future with Schools: Improving Performance through School Self-Evaluation; DCSF (June 2009) Your child, your schools: building a 21st century schools system, Cm 7588, para 4.1 Back

7   Local Authorities and School Improvement: The Use of Statutory Powers, NFER, March 2009 Back

8   The most recent of these are: Oral and Written Evidence taken on 12 December 2007, 14 May 2008, 10 December 2008 and 9 February 2009, published together as HC 70, Session 2008-09; Sixth Report of the Education and Skills Committee, Session 2006-07, HC 165. Back

9   CVA is a measure which allows comparisons to be made between schools with differing intakes. Data derived from test results are adjusted to take account of prior attainment (hence 'value added') and 'contextual' factors such as gender, mobility and measures of deprivation. It is essentially a progression measure which shows how much actual progress a school has made with pupils with certain characteristics by comparison with the progress predicted for those pupils by the CVA model based on progress of pupils in all other schools. Back

10   See, for example, the top 50 primary schools in England in 2008 as ranked by The Times at  Back

11   See Testing and Assessment, Third Report of the Children, Schools and Families Committee, Session 2007-08, HC 169-I and HC 169-II Back

12   Q 145; Q 146 Back

13   Ev 34 App 1 Back

14   Audit Commission response to DCSF/Ofsted consultation on the School Report Card, para 7; Ev 185; Ev 187; Ev 62; Ev 113; Ev 190; Ev 146; these outcomes were introduced in the eponymous green paper published by the Government in September 2003 and have achieved wide significance in children's services ever since. The outcomes are: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and economic well-being. Back

15   Ev 34 App 1 Back

16   Mathematics in Education and Industry; Ev 176; Ev 9; Ev 187; Ev 113; Ev 189; Ev 145; Q 1; Q 2 Back

17   Q 1 Back

18   Ev 170; Ev 171; Audit Commission response to Ofsted consultation A focus on improvement: proposals for maintained school inspections from September 2009; Ev 183; Ev 62; Ev 114;  Back

19   Your child, your schools, our future, Cm 7588, DCSF, chapter 4 Back

20   Ev 180 Back

21   Ev 2 Back

22   Ev 114; Ev 115 Back

23   DfES and Ofsted (2004) A New Relationship with Schools Back

24   DfES and Ofsted (2004) A New Relationship with Schools, p1 Back

25   DfES and Ofsted (2004) A New Relationship with Schools Back

26   Department for Education and Skills (2004) Every Child Matters: Change for Children Back

27   Under the previous regime, inspections had been longer and were carried out at four- and then six-yearly intervals. Back

28   Ev 170; Ev 186; Q 79; Q 144 Back

29   Ev 170 Back

30   Ev 170 Back

31   DCSF (June 2009) Your child, your schools: building a 21st century schools system, Cm 7588 Back

32   DCSF (June 2009) Your child, your schools: building a 21st century schools system, Cm 7588, p55 Back

33   DCSF (June 2009) Your child, your schools: building a 21st century schools system, Cm 7588, para 4.19 Back

34   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.2 Back

35   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.3 Back

36   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.4 Back

37   The Improving Schools Programme, the Leading Teacher programme and the Local Leaders of Education programme; paras 4.5-4.7 Back

38   Families of Schools is currently operating in City Challenge areas and groups schools according to prior attainment and socio-economic factors, enabling them to draw comparisons and share good practice with schools in similar circumstances Back

39   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.10 Back

40   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, paras 4.8-4.9 Back

41   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.11 Back

42   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.12 Back

43   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.13 Back

44   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.18 Back

45   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, paras 4.20-4.25 Back

46   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.24 Back

47   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, para 4.27 Back

48   Your child, your schools, our future, DCSF, Cm 7588, paras 4.26-4.27 Back

49   Ofsted (July 2009) The framework for the inspection in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005, from September 2009 Back

50   Early Years provision is inspected under the Childcare Act 2006 and is not considered part of this inquiry, although such provision within a school is inspected by Ofsted at the same time as provision for older children under the Education Act 2005. Back

51   Ofsted (July 2009) The framework for the inspection in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005, from September 2009 Back

52   Ibid. Back

53   Ibid. Back

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