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select committee join Ofsted posse in sponsor inspection standoff

7 November 2013

The Education Select Committee have weighed into the ongoing debate between the DfE and Ofsted on whether organisations which sponsor academies should be inspected.

Whilst Ofsted currently have the power to inspect the schools within an academy chain, there is no power to inspect the sponsor itself. The power to appoint and regulate academy sponsors is with the DfE.

The Committee have stated that Ofsted’s powers should be extended to sponsors, echoing Ofsted chief, Sir Michael Wilshaw’s view, that there “needs to be a level playing field in the accountability of organisations running groups of schools”. This is at odds with the DfE’s standpoint which is that it alone should examine the performance of chains.

It will be interesting so see whether the Committee’s intervention will put pressure on the DfE to accede to Ofsted’s wishes and put an end to the current standoff.

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