- Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Ofsted to the Chairman

  I was grateful for the opportunity to give evidence to the Select Committee on Wednesday 6 May, as part of your inquiry into School Accountability. At the conclusion of the session, I agreed to send you what evidence we have that school inspection works, and is well received by the providers that we inspect and their users.

We have our own evidence but more importantly, I believe that the external surveys that we have commissioned on the schools sector, will provide valuable evidence for this inquiry. Please find the following reports enclosed:

    — The National Foundation for Educational Research's (NFER) report, Impact of Section 5 inspections: maintained schools in England, published May 2007. The NFER has recently completed a similar survey. This will be published in June 2009, and I will ensure that you are sent a copy.

    — The National Foundation for Educational Research's Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey on Ofsted inspections, published April 2009. This survey was completed by a sample of over 1330 teachers and was weighted to ensure that it was representative.

    — An Ipsos MORI survey of parents views of inspection, published March 2009. Ipsos MORI are also conducting a survey of young peoples' views of inspection and I will send you a copy once this is published. We anticipate publication in July 2009.

    — Ofsted also commissions its own School Inspection Surveys, inviting all schools to send their views on the inspection process following their inspection. This programme has been in place for many years. Around two thirds of schools that are inspected complete and return it. These findings, although not fully independent like those above, are overwhelmingly positive. A summary of responses to some of the key questions, covering the period April 2008 to March 2009, is enclosed as Appendix A.

  These surveys consistently highlight the positive impact of inspection, as viewed by parents, teachers and other stakeholders in the sector. Table A presents some of the headline findings from these surveys.

Table A

Stakeholder Survey findings
School leaders and other staff (as sampled by NFER) —  88% were quite or very satisfied with the inspection process.
—  95% found the Self-Evaluation Form a helpful vehicle for self-evaluation.
—  92% found oral feedback from inspectors useful.
—  84% found the Ofsted report helpful in identifying areas for improvement in the school.
—  Approximately three quarters found the Ofsted report accurate in identifying strengths and weaknesses.
—  89% viewed Ofsted's recommendations as helpful. 87% took specific actions based upon their recommendations. Amongst inadequate schools, 95% reported taking action on Ofsted recommendations.

Source: NFER Impact of Section 5 inspections: maintained schools in England survey, 2007

—  88% think inspections identified new areas of priority for their schools.
—  84% regard classroom observations as an important and welcome aspect of inspection.
—  58% felt that inspections had contributed positively to their individual approach to teaching.
—  85% felt that inspection had brought changes in teaching and learning activities within their school.

Source: NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey, 2009

—  92% are in favour of school inspection, with only 4% against.
—  84% of those whose child's school had been inspected said that they found the inspection report helpful.
—  82% believe that inspection contributes to school improvement, and only 8% are sceptical about its impact.

Source: Ipsos MORI survey of parents views of inspection, 2009

—  94% are satisfied with the way their schools were inspected.
—  94% are satisfied with the quality of their report.
—  96% believe their inspection will move the school forward.
—  81% believe the benefits of inspection outweigh the negatives.

Source: Ofsted's ongoing School Inspection Surveys, April 2008 to March 2009

Christine Gilbert
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector

May 2009

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