I welcome the Public Accounts Committee’s recognition of the vital role that Ofsted plays in our education system.
As with all of the public sector, we have had to do more with less. However, I remain confident that our inspections provide parents, schools and the government with the assurance they need about school standards and that we do so in a way that compares very favourably in terms of quality and value for money with school inspection regimes internationally.
However, as I said at the hearing, we have reached the limit in terms of being able to provide that level of assurance within our current funding envelope. That is why, with our ongoing framework review, we are looking at how to ensure that schools and parents get everything they need from our reports, and why many of the committee’s recommendations are already long in train.
I understand that the committee is disappointed that I would not be drawn into giving my views on some wider issues in the sector. My role is to provide Parliament and the Secretary of State with an evidence-based appraisal of educational standards. It would be irresponsible of me to make comment on those areas where we do not have clear evidence of the impact on standards or young people’s wellbeing.
Where we do have that evidence, be it about the dangers of illegal unregistered schools, the risks of radicalisation, the narrowing of the curriculum or the importance of early literacy, I have not hesitated to speak out and will continue to do so.