The Problem

Ofsted’s remit, influence and power are expanding but its accountability is not.

The problem with Ofsted can be observed in two primary ways:

Operational Structure


This refers to the internal mechanics of Ofsted which enable the exercise of its functions:

  • Processes
  • Procedures
  • Documents

It is observed through:

  • Inspector training
  • Inspection Framework (“EIF”)
  • Report template
  • Complaints process

These decisions fall primarily outside of the hands of inspectors themselves; they rest upon Ofsted management.

Operational Manner


This refers to the methods, practises, and ethos applied by Ofsted management and inspectors to inspecting schools.

It is observed through:

  • Negative teacher experiences
  • Pupil interviewing
  • Parental and community engagement
  • Assessments and judgements

These areas are not distinct: the structure of operations feeds into the way that inspectors assess schools and the experience of teachers, parents and pupils.