Education watchdog Ofsted is to overhaul its inspection regime to give more time to focus on schools and colleges which are under-performing or on the verge of excelling.
Its Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has proposed a system where the 60% of education providers ranked as “Good” would be subject to shorter, more frequent assessments, with full inspections reserved for the 40% either failing or on the cusp of being rated “Outstanding”.
Commenting on the proposals, George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, said: “Softer-touch inspections for schools which perform well will allow them to focus on the job in hand, which the Chamber welcomes so long as there is no compromise in providing every child with a decent education.
“However, this could go further to ensure the skills which employers say young people are lacking with regard to attitude and aptitude are also included as part of the inspection and improvement work by Ofsted.
“At a time when ‘destination measures’ are used to benchmark the effectiveness of schools to move young people into further or higher education, apprenticeships or employment, Ofsted would be remiss not to measure the activity undertaken to provide students with the skills to progress into the profession of their choice and to reward those forward-thinking schools which go the extra mile to create an environment that promotes this activity.
“This can also be seen as an opportunity for Ofsted to review the membership of the inspection team. The Chamber is an advocate of using more inspectors from a business background and that employability skills, work-related learning and robust and holistic careers advice becomes a higher priority within the inspection framework.”