Government response

Sir Michael Wilshaw responds to allegations of leaked inspection dates

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector responds to an article in the Observer newspaper.


An article in Sunday’s Observer carried a number of allegations from unnamed sources concerning the leaking of inspection dates to headteachers and academy trusts.

Ofsted’s reputation for inspecting without fear or favour is absolutely central to all that we do. I am determined to protect our integrity in this area.

In light of the serious nature of the concerns raised, I have asked Sir Robin Bosher, Ofsted’s Director, Quality and Training, to carry out a review of the circumstances of these specific inspections and the wider handling of the sharing of information about our inspection schedules.

If any evidence comes to light that proves anyone within Ofsted or our contractors has shared information inappropriately, I will have no hesitation in taking the strongest possible action.

The terms of reference for Sir Robin’s review will be to consider:

  • whether or not any advance notice was given of the dates of inspection in these three cases
  • whether the processes in place to protect our inspection schedule information are sufficiently robust and are being followed at all times
  • any lessons that can be learned to ensure that as Ofsted seeks to engage more current practitioners in the inspection process the integrity of inspection scheduling information is protected
  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 and 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.

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Published 21 August 2014