Press release

Plans to manage school and further education inspections in-house

From September 2015 Ofsted will no longer contract with Inspection Service Providers (ISPs) for school and further education inspections.


The current contracts, with CfBT, Serco and Tribal, have run since September 2009 and are due to expire in August 2015, requiring Ofsted to review its inspection delivery model.

Additional Inspectors (AIs), who are currently contracted through ISPs to undertake inspections on behalf of Ofsted, will continue to form a significant part of the inspection work force. However, from September 2015, AIs will be contracted directly by Ofsted, giving Ofsted more direct control over their selection, training and quality assurance.At his speech to the Association of School and College Leaders in March this year, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, made clear his commitment to change the working model saying: ’Inspection, as far as I’m concerned, is just too important for Ofsted to simply have oversight of third-party arrangements.’

Commenting on the decision, Ofsted’s Director of Corporate Services, Nick Jackson said: ‘For the last five years our Inspection Service Providers have delivered a successful and professional inspection programme for Ofsted. With the conclusion of these contracts the time was right to look again at how Ofsted can best deliver a service that is both efficient and flexible. We are confident that this is the right model.’

Ofsted intends that its existing contractual arrangements for the delivery of early years inspections will continue.

Notes to editors

  1. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

  2. Inspections of the following elements of Ofsted’s remit are covered by these contracts - maintained schools, academies, free schools, independent schools that do not belong to an association, colleges, apprenticeships, adult skills and Initial Teacher Education.

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Published 29 May 2014