Ofsted: the case for reform

FORUM - ISSN 0963-8253
Volume 65 Number 3 (2023)

Ofsted: the case for reform
Peter Mortimore pages 22-34
DOI: 10.3898/forum.2023.65.3.03


This article proposes reform of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). It considers the purpose of inspection in English schools and describes the previous system of inspection based on Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools (HMI). The question of how effective Ofsted is – in comparison to similar countries – is then addressed. The creation of Ofsted is described and its strengths acknowledged before discussion of the frequent criticisms it has attracted. Whether or not the English education system actually needs rigorous inspection is considered and the conclusion reached is that inspection is desirable, but not the current Ofsted model. The remainder of the article outlines the principles that could underpin a more positive model of inspection and the most pressing issues for reform. It ends with the recognition that, since schooling will be subject to change in a modern technology-driven world, models of inspection also need to be flexible. 

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To cite this article
Peter Mortimore (2023) Ofsted: the case for reform, FORUM, 65(3), 22-34. https://doi.org/10.3898/forum.2023.65.3.03

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