The Impact of OFSTED Inspections

Margaret Scanlon

01 December 1999

Since its introduction in 1992, the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) system of inspection has provoked intense interest and debate regarding its effects on schools. This debate has focused on whether the OFSTED system is fulfilling its aim of 'improvement through inspection', and at what cost to teachers, schools and LEAs.

The research project described in this report looked at the impact of inspection and special measures on schools which were judged to have 'failed' their OFSTED inspection. In particular, the report looks at various aspects of school life after inspection, including;

  • initial reactions to the outcome of inspection
  • school monitoring
  • teachers' workload, health and stress levels
  • professional support and relationships between staff, the LEA and the governing body
  • school improvement
  • staffing issues, including staff turnover, retirements, recruitment.

In addition, the report looks at the experience of schools which have been removed from the special measures register. Respondents describe the changes which took place and offer insights for schools which are currently under special measures.

This report will be of interest to policy makers, LEAs, schools which are (or have been) subject to special measures and researchers in the fields of inspection and school management.