New inspection service providers

From September 2009, three inspection service contractors will be inspecting schools, colleges, apprenticeships, adult skills and initial teacher education.

CfBT Education Trust will cover the contract area for the North, Serco will cover the Midlands and Tribal Group the South. Each organisation will be accountable to Ofsted for inspection within their area and be expected to work with other contractors when necessary, for example, to support the inspection of large providers spanning contract areas.

Directors at CfBT, Tim Emmett and Lesley Moore, with Christine Gilbert, HMCI

Running until August 2015, the contracts offer greater value for money and improved efficiency in the way Ofsted inspects, and will help us achieve greater impact and consistency in our inspection services. They will involve additional inspectors working with Her Majesty’s Inspectors in a similar way to the current contracts. At present Ofsted uses five regional inspection service providers (RISPs), who support school inspections, and two national inspection service providers (NISPs): one for colleges and one for independent schools.

The contract arrangements have been extended to include all inspections in state-maintained schools, non-association independent schools, further education colleges, apprenticeships, work-based adult and community learning and initial teacher education.

‘These new arrangements will ensure Ofsted has a high-quality, flexible and diverse workforce helping us deliver consistency and value for money in the way we inspect’


The organisations will also provide additional inspectors to support survey work and targeted inspection for comprehensive area assessments, Early Years Foundation Stage and early years in maintained schools directly under the responsibility of a school’s governing body, or where the facility is on a school site. Ofsted will continue to be responsible for the management, support and quality assurance of these areas of work.


Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, explained: ‘Ofsted has a track record of delivering inspections through partnership with contractors. These new arrangements will ensure Ofsted has a high-quality, flexible and diverse workforce helping us deliver consistency and value for money in the way we inspect.’ 


What the contractors say:
‘We have been successfully managing inspection services in the North West of England since 2005 and I am confident that we will continue to deliver the same high-quality inspection services through this new, expanded contract.’
Neil McIntosh, Chief Executive, CfBT Education Trust


‘We intend to build on existing arrangements and will introduce innovative approaches to ensure the inspection processes are delivered effectively.’
Elaine Simpson, Managing Director, Education & Children's Services, Serco


‘As a provider of high-quality inspection services to Ofsted since 1996 we will build on our good track record and ensure that our work maximises the impact that inspection makes on the improvement of educational standards.’
Peter Martin, Chief Executive, Tribal Group

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