Ofsted officials given bonuses totalling up to £110,000 amid budget squeeze

The inspectorate handed out the bonuses while planning for a budget cut of more than 38 per cent over the next three years

Adi Bloom

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Ofsted plans to reduce its budget by more than £20 million over the next three years, yet is still giving out tens of thousands of pounds in bonuses to top-ranking officials.

The inspectorate’s annual report and accounts for 2016-17 reveal that its core budget has been cut from £200 million in 2010-11 to £145 million this year. But it carried out only 5 per cent fewer inspections this year than in 2010-11.

The report states that, by the end of 2019-20, the Ofsted budget will have been reduced by more than 38 per cent.

This would bring the budget down to £124 million: £21 million less than this year, and £76 million less than in 2010-11.

Big bonuses

But this year the watchdog gave out up to £110,000 in bonuses to senior members of staff. The largest of these – an undisclosed figure between £20,000 and £25,000 – was awarded to Matthew Coffey, Ofsted’s chief operating officer.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, who retired as chief inspector in December, was given a bonus of between £15,000 and £20,000.

And Sean Harford, national director of education, was awarded between £10,000 and £15,000.

The total amount of bonus payments – ranging between £75,000 and £110,000 – was divided between seven senior Ofsted officials.

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