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Early-years inspectors are up to the task

I would like to reassure readers that Ofsted places a high priority on a highly trained and well-qualified workforce ("Four for the future: how Tickell's early-years vision will take shape", 8 April).

Since we took over the early-years inspection workforce from 150 local authorities in 2001, we have constantly sought to improve inspectors' knowledge, understanding and qualifications.

Since September 2010 we have contracted out routine early-years inspections, but we require the companies we contract with (Prospects and Tribal Group) to recruit new inspectors who are early-years specialists and qualified to degree-level. We have tight contractual arrangements in place, with key performance indicators setting stringent quality standards.

We are confident that our inspection providers will inspect any revised Early Years Foundation Stage to the high standards we set.

Patrick Leeson, Director, education and care, Ofsted.

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