Ofsted: ‘Constrained’ funding could ‘compromise’ inspection reliability

Watchdog's chair warns actions to absorb rising costs are a 'short-term fix' and will likely 'store up cost pressures'

Watchdog's chair warns actions to absorb rising costs are a 'short-term fix' and will likely 'store up cost pressures'

The reliability of inspections will be “compromised” if funding is “further constrained”, the board of Ofsted has told government.

Actions taken by the watchdog to absorb rising costs are a “short-term fix” and will likely “store up cost pressures” for this year and beyond, Ofsted’s chair Dame Christine Ryan said during a September board meeting.

Christine Ryan
Christine Ryan

Minutes, published this morning, added: “Many parts of the DfE regulatory system, including actions following a ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ rating, rely on Ofsted inspection judgments.

“A high level of assurance on the reliability of inspection judgements is therefore needed, but will be compromised if inspection itself and the activities that support inspection quality are further constrained.”

While the comments were made under the previous Ofsted leadership, the watchdog also sounded the alarm over finances last week.

Funding has ‘fallen significantly’

Responding to calls from MPs for longer inspections, Ofsted said its role and responsibilities have “expanded significantly” since 2005. 

However its funding has “fallen significantly” over the same period, and is now 29 per cent lower in real terms compared with 2009-10.

The board update added “unfunded pay guidance” on top of budget reductions meant the inspectorate was also “losing its capacity for independent discretionary work, which provides insight on themes of national importance emerging from its inspection and regulatory work”.

The minutes added: “The chair described these as systemic issues that need to be considered fully by the DfE, including in its own risk assessments.

“The DfE observer thanked the chair for the summary and gave assurance that it would be communicated to ministers.”

Ofsted and the DfE have been contacted for comment.

More from this theme

Ofsted

‘Inadequate’ care provider accuses Ofsted of ‘overlooking’ sector crisis

Inspectors say too many apprentices miss their planned end date as they cover extra shifts instead of training

Josh Mellor
Ofsted

North Yorkshire college downgraded following leadership ‘turbulence’

Craven College was led amost entirely by a team of interim senior managers

Shane Chowen
Ofsted

Ofsted downgrades large Birmingham college to ‘requires improvement’

Inspectors criticise low achievement rates and poor attendance at SCCB

Billy Camden
Ofsted

‘Inadequate’ provider slammed for ‘poorly planned’ training

Inspectors said most apprentices had one hour of online learning 'once or twice a month'

Josh Mellor
Ofsted

Former Ofsted chief to lead watchdog’s independent review

Inquiry will look at whether watchdog's policies for responding to tragic incidents need to be revised after Ruth Perry...

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Keegan refuses to retract remarks about punching Ofsted inspectors

Education secretary says comment was 'light-hearted' and she 'clearly would not be punching anyone, or advocating anyone else do...

Lucas Cumiskey

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One comment

  1. There is anyways no confidence in Ofsted, who have systematically destroyed ITP’s over the last 2 years with their sub-standard and questionable reports. They just want to save their jobs and want a pay rise.