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Ofsted framework for local authority inspections

6 February 2013

A draft inspection framework has been published to cover Ofsted inspections of the education functions of local authorities. Under this framework, rather than judgement using the four Ofsted grades that schools can be awarded when inspected, local authorities will simply be deemed as either 'succeeding' or 'failing'.

The news probably won’t come as a huge surprise to local authorities, given that last month Ofsted commenced a round of school inspections in poorly–performing areas which promised to focus on the local authority’s role.

Much is being made of Ofsted’s power to intervene in this way but actually legislation enabling Ofsted to inspect a local authority’s education functions at the Secretary of State’s request has been in place for some time. What the DfE now seems keen to do is put in place a robust framework for such inspections. Being able to refer to the local authority as officially 'failing' will no doubt assist the DfE’s case where it believes academy conversion is necessary for improvement.

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