Ofsted to implement changes to post-inspection process

Ofsted has announced that it will implement all four changes proposed in its recent consultation on post-inspection arrangements and complaints handling.

The changes are enhanced on-site professional dialogue during inspections to help address any issues; a new opportunity for providers to contact Ofsted the day after an inspection if they have unresolved concerns.

The third change is for new arrangements for finalising reports and considering formal challenges to inspection outcomes, and the final is direct escalation to the Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted (ICASO) and a periodic review of closed complaints using external representatives.

The consultation, which ran from 12 June to 15 September 2023, received over 1,500 responses. There was strong support for all four proposals.

The proposals will come into effect in two phases: Proposals one and two will come into effect in January 2024. Ofsted will provide all inspectors with guidance on developing and formalising the enhanced professional dialogue essential for successful inspections. At the same time, Ofsted will let providers know that they can contact Ofsted with any unresolved issues on the working day after the end of the inspection.

Proposals three and four will come into effect in April 2024. When providers receive their draft report, they will be able to highlight minor points of clarity or factual accuracy, or raise a formal complaint to seek a review of the inspection findings and judgements awarded.

Ofsted will also remove the current internal review step in its complaints process. From April, if complainants are concerned that Ofsted has not correctly followed its complaints-handling process, they will be able to escalate their concerns directly to the ICASO. Ofsted will also introduce the periodic reviews of closed cases at this point.

Ofsted’s Chief inspector, Amanda Spielman said: "I’m pleased to see the high levels of support for our proposed changes from those working across education and children’s social care. We have also piloted enhanced professional dialogue and allowing providers to contact us the day after the inspection and these worked well.

"I’m confident these changes will help resolve complaints more quickly, reduce the administrative burden on those making a complaint, and increase transparency in the process. I hope they will also help providers feel more comfortable about raising any issues with us."


Read more