Supplementary memorandum submitted by
CfBT, Serco and Tribal |
Further to our meeting with the Committee last month,
I am writing on behalf of the three Inspection Service Providers
(CfBT, Serco and Tribal) to submit a further report in support
of our verbal evidence. I hope the Committee finds it helpful
and we are not too late to inform its conclusions.
1. At the Education Select Committee hearing
on 12 January, evidence was presented by HMCI and her colleagues,
and by representatives of the Inspection Service Providers (ISPs).
During the session, clarification on a number of points was sought
by Committee members. Consequently Ofsted is providing further
data, including information on specialist qualifications of inspectors,
time away from the classroom and quality assurance systems operated
by Ofsted and contractors.
2. A recurrent theme in the evidence received
by the Committee both in writing and at previous hearings has
been that inspections led by Additional Inspectors (AIs) are of
a lower quality than those led by HMI. Data presented in evidence
to the Committee by both HMCI and the ISPs does not support this
incorrect anecdotal view.
3. Views presented to the Committee have not
always been supported by a detailed knowledge of how inspections
are currently carried out. For example, there has been much confusion
over the percentage of inspections across and within each remit
that are led by HMI or AIs. In Learning & Skills and in ITE
inspections, HMI lead all inspections. Nevertheless some submissions
have suggested that AIs lead less effectively in college as well
as school inspections.
4. In the light of the contradictions and inaccuracies
apparent within anecdotal views, we wish to help the Committee
to reach its judgements based, where possible, on accurate factual
information. We thus submit some further points of fact and detail
THE AI WORKFORCE
5. The maintained AI workforce is of complex
composition. As the Committee has heard, it is largely made up
of seasoned professionals (98%) who currently or have previously
worked in schools, colleges other educational institutions, local
authorities or as training providers, invariably at a senior level
and are seeking to apply their knowledge and skills as inspectors.
An increasing proportion of the workforce (around 26% at present
working in schools and 50% in colleges) are classified as practitioners.
A very small proportion of the most experienced inspectors (2%)
have gained their experience largely in other educational or professional
fields, such as educational psychology or child care. All L&S
/ ITE inspectors are or have previously been professionals from
their specialist area and practitioner status is high at above
50% across the ISPs.
6. However, these classifications do not tell
all. For example, there are inspectors who combine inspection
with supply teaching, though they will not necessarily be classified
as practitioners. Others combine inspection and placements as
interim heads, deputies or in other senior leadership positions,
often in failing schools. They return to inspection work with
updated knowledge and new experiences. Some are in full time employment
as LA advisors and others work also as SIPs or educational consultants.
Across the ISPs close to one hundred inspectors are former HMI
who retain their capabilities, notwithstanding a change of status.
All these highly experienced professionals show skill and accuracy
in judging teaching and learning, for example, borne out of seeing
a wide variety of practice across schools, key stages, remits
and LAs. Whilst the diversity of skills and experience is a strength
of the provision, ISPs do require a minimum number of days of
training and delivery to be undertaken annually by every inspector.
This minimum is intended to ensure that those who inspect less
often use their skills and knowledge at a sufficient frequency
to support consistent delivery.
7. The following table gives an indication of
the training and professional expectations and standards demanded
of AIs in the school remit:
RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING OF NEW INSPECTORS
Stages in process:
1. Register interest
2. Initial filter
3. Comprehensive training over approximately
12 months, including face to face sessions (up to 7 days), assignments
and attachment to inspection as a trainee (up to 2)
4. Sign off inspection by an HMI
|ISP 1||ISP 2
|Number of applicants*||171
|Number accepted for assessment||59
|Number actively trained||46
|Number "signed off" to date by HMI**
* The variation in numbers of applicants reflects the situation
that two contractors brought forward an inspector workforce from
the previous contract
** A schedule is in place to support an ongoing "sign off"
programme as opportunities are made available by Ofsted
Training and professional development provision by ISPs for existing
inspectors in 2009 -2010 typically included:
- Annual Conferences and regional meetings.
- Ofsted required training (safeguarding, SEN, equality and
- ISP required training.
- Performance management requirementsindividual and group.
- Inspector led self-assessed training.
- Development training.
- New lead training.
- Reader training.
- Skills or phase enhancement training.
- Improving writing (secondary & primary).
- Early Years Foundation Stage training.
- Protecting children training.
- Parallel Inspection Event training.
- Section 8 training.
- Data handling training.
Additional professional development is delivered via the knowledge
bases on each ISP portal which contain the latest developments
in education, not just inspection, accessible on demand.
Each ISP publishes a monthly newsletter and regular professional
bulletins containing updated guidance for inspectors and related
8. The scheduling of inspectors to inspection events is undertaken
assiduously, supported by sophisticated data systems. Inspectors
provide ISPs with details of their qualifications, experience
and potential conflict with institutions. ISPs then match suitable
individuals to the institutional setting, with further risk assessments
carried out by inspection managers prior to deployment. The depth
of information held on individual inspectors' skills and specialisms
is demonstrated in two anonymised inspector profiles included
as appendix "A". The effectiveness of this process,
common to all ISPs, is evidenced by the high levels of satisfaction
with inspection teams with the institutions they inspect.
9. In all but the smallest school inspections there is a minimum
of two inspectors. In larger schools and in all colleges, the
lead inspector will be accompanied by more than one team inspector.
In both planning for the inspection and when it takes place, the
ISP and lead inspector closely match specific tasks and areas
of focus to the particular qualifications and experience of the
team, thus ensuring specialist requirements are met. The environment
in which schools and colleges operate is constantly changing as
are the management structures and organisation of the institutions
themselves. For example, there is significant growth in the number
of executive leaders in secondary schools whose background and
role differs from the traditional routes to, and responsibilities
of, headship. To provide relevant inspection in such institutions,
ISPs must maintain broadly based inspector pools. Inspectors with
wide ranging experiences work effectively in tandem with those
in the team most recently in the classroom. Additionally, ISPs
use practitioners to provide regular training updates for experienced
10. At the Select Committee session on 12th January there
was discussion about consistency and the recruitment and role
of practitioners. ISPs were challenged as to why, if inspection
quality is so good, (at 94% according to providers subjected most
recently to inspection) there is a need to increase the percentage
of practitioners through targets. ISPs, in response, put forward
the view that whilst performing very well, 100% satisfaction is
the goal. "Refreshing the workforce" has been and continues
to be a priority for ISPs, to ensure balanced and suitably skilled
teams can be scheduled in the years to come. We are wholly committed
to maintaining and indeed growing practitioner numbers, to reach
in the region of one third of inspectors in schools by 2015. Consequently,
recruitment at present is almost entirely from practitioners and
will be for the foreseeable future.
|School Inspection Survey feedback|
(Since September 2009)
|ISP 1||ISP 2
|% of responses received about the inspection process that are positive
|% of responses received satisfied with the clarity of the inspection report
11. ISPs do not take lightly the challenge to achieve consistency
across inspections. As mentioned in the recent session, there
is a price to be paid for employing more practitioners because
their release can be difficult and usually for short periods only.
It results in a significantly larger workforce than would otherwise
be the casethus increasing the potential for inconsistency.
Achieving the right balance in the pool and in inspector deployment
takes careful management.
12. This is, however, only one thread in the establishment
and maintenance of consistent practice and judgements. The answer
does not lie in HMI leading all inspections. As Mike Tomlinson,
a former HMCI said in an earlier witness session, there always
was and will be inconsistency between HMI as much as between AIs
because of the sheer number. There is no one simple solution.
Our approach is to work in partnership with Ofsted to align the
performances of HMI and AIs as much as possible. In many inspections
they work closely alongside each other, learning from each other's
practice. For example, around 80% of secondary school inspections
have a mixed team. School Inspection Survey data bears out the
similarity in performances.
13. It is also the case that AIs and HMI attend each others
national and regional professional events, share training materials
and undertake moderation and retrieval exercises on training satisfaction
data, inspection practice and the use of inspection instruments
such as evidence bases and published reports. HMI and AIs also
undertake quality assurance visits to an agreed programme of inspections
each term, with each covering both HMI and AI led inspections.
14. AIs are required to undertake a minimum of 5 days training
per year and to interact with the regular updates and guidance
produced internally and received from Ofsted. As described by
HMCI, ISP trainers are trained by HMI using their materials which
are subsequently used with the AI workforce. Work is underway
to secure validation of ISP initial training programmes by HEI,
approved by Ofsted, to underpin and give public confidence in
the high quality and consistency achieved. The detailed Quality
Assurance procedures submitted to the Committee by Ofsted show
the range and depth of processes in place to underpin consistent
inspection practice. Specific analysessuch as reviews of
the evidence collected by inspections teamsshow good levels
of consistency in processes, judgements and underpinning evidence
are being achieved but we are not complacent. Joint Strategic
Training and Quality Assurance groups set direction in this work
and provide forums for sharing outcomes and triggering dissemination.
15. Finally, in any major new initiatives or a change in inspection
framework AIs and HMI work jointly in pilot inspections and in
providing feedback, to inform the more general training on both
workforces. This joint working is highly valued by Ofsted and
16. Through this brief paper we have endeavoured to provide
the Committee with a deeper understanding of the composition and
nature of the Additional Inspector workforce, which has been the
subject of a number of personal opinions, rather than evidence
based submissions, to the Inquiry. We are disappointed that the
highly professional inspectors in our teams have been subject
to such a high degree of minority, inaccurate and unsubstantiated
17. The Committee has received some submissions suggesting
that, in particular, AI led inspections are of a lower quality
and inconsistent in comparison with HMI led inspections. In our
view, measurable evidence and data (SIS and complaints data) show
this view to be wrong. Responses from the institutions inspected
demonstrate equal confidence in AI led inspections to those led
by HMI, including making full use of inspection findings and recommendations
to bring about improvement.
18. The notion that all school inspections should be led by
HMI is both undesirable and unachievable. As HMCI stated in 12
January witnesses session, the employment of a minimum of 150
additional HMI in the current financial circumstances is unrealistic.
We are equally convinced by the evidence which shows it would
not improve the quality or relevance of inspections either. We
are optimistic that the Committee, in its final report, will recognise
the contribution and value of the ISP workforce to school improvement.
19. As Inspection Service Providers, however, we seek continuous
improvement in our work. We are confident that future inspection
frameworks will bring more focus to inspections and that we can
further improve the quality of delivery through the strength of
our partnership with Ofsted, our rigorous recruitment and professional
THESE ANONYMISED INSPECTOR PROFILES ARE INCLUDED TO DEMONSTRATE
THE DETAILED INFORMATION ON SKILLS AND SPECIALISMS USED IN THE
DEPLOYMENT OF ADDITIONAL INSPECTORS TO MATCHED INSPECTIONS
| ||FD/1/S||Foundation Stage/Primary/Special
| ||SN/1/M||Special educational needs/Primary/Mainstream
| ||SN/1/S||Special educational needs/Primary/Special
| ||SN/2/S||Special educational needs/Secondary/Special
| ||SN/3/S||Special educational needs/16 Plus/Special
| ||EN/1/M||English / English literature/Primary/Mainstream
| ||EN/1/S||English / English literature/Primary/Special
| ||EN/2/S||English / English literature/Secondary/Special
| ||EN/3/S||English / English literature/16 Plus/Special
| ||IT/1/M||Computing / Information science / systems / studies / Information & communication technology/Primary/Mainstream
| ||IT/1/S||Computing / Information science / systems / studies / Information & communication technology/Primary/Special
| ||IT/2/S||Computing / Information science / systems / studies / Information & communication technology/Secondary/Special
| ||IT/3/S||Computing / Information science / systems / studies / Information & communication technology/16 Plus/Special
| ||MA/3/S||Mathematics/16 Plus/Special
| ||GG/3/S||Geography/16 Plus/Special
| ||HI/3/S||History/16 Plus/Special
| ||AR/1/M||Art and design / Art/Primary/Mainstream
| ||AR/1/S||Art and design / Art/Primary/Special
| ||AR/2/S||Art and design / Art/Secondary/Special
| ||AR/3/S||Art and design / Art/16 Plus/Special
| ||DT/1/M||Design and technology/Primary/Mainstream
| ||DT/2/M||Design and technology/Secondary/Mainstream
| ||DT/1/S||Design and technology/Primary/Special
| ||DT/2/S||Design and technology/Secondary/Special
| ||DT/3/S||Design and technology/16 Plus/Special
| ||PS/1/S||Personal / social / health education/Primary/Special
| ||PS/2/S||Personal / social / health education/Secondary/Special
| ||PS/3/S||Personal / social / health education/16 Plus/Special
| ||RE/1/S||Religious education/Primary/Special
| ||RE/2/S||Religious education/Secondary/Special
| ||RE/3/S||Religious education/16 Plus/Special
| ||AU/3/S||SENAutism/16 Plus/Special
| ||LD/3/S||SENMLD/16 Plus/Special
| ||MD/3/S||SENPMLD/16 Plus/Special
| ||PD/1/S||SENPhysical Disability/Primary/Special
| ||PD/2/S||SENPhysical Disability/Secondary/Special
| ||PD/3/S||SENPhysical Disability/16 Plus/Special
| ||118146||St Hugh's Communication and Interaction College
| ||118144||King's Mill School
| ||118011||Haxey CofE Primary School
| ||134728||Hob Moor Oaks School
|Contract Type||90 Days
|Contract Start Date||01 Sep 2010
|Contract End Date||31 Aug 2011
|RoleQA Report Reader
|Pupil Referral Unit||S5