Spielman: Ban on MAT inspections ‘constrains’ Ofsted

Asked by MPs what she'd like to change, chief inspector highlights Ofsted's inability to inspect multi-academy trusts

John Roberts

Amanda Spielman: Ban on multi-academy trust inspections ‘constrains’ Ofsted

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has said the watchdog is constrained by only being able to carry out individual school inspections rather than inspections of multi-academy trusts.

She was asked by the Commons Education Select Committee today what she would like to change about Ofsted's remit, after getting an extension to her term as chief inspector.

Ms Spielman highlighted the role of multi-academy trusts, which Ofsted cannot inspect.


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She said: "I read my pre-appointment hearing transcript, the other day, and there are things I talked about then that I think are still unresolved: the position of MATs.  We still operate what, in some respects, is a historic inspection legislation that constrains us to look at the level of the individual school."

She has previously said that it was “peculiar” that MATs are not inspected over the quality of their education, governance, efficiency and use of resources.

Ofsted has pushed the Department for Education to be able to do more to inspect the work of MATs under both Ms Spielman and her predecessor, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

In 2019 the inspectorate developed a new MAT summary evaluation whereby it inspects groups of schools in one trust over one or two terms and then produces a summary of its findings about the MAT after the individual school inspection reports have been published.

However at the time Ofsted said it only had resources to assess 12 MATs a year in this way.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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