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Q: How much do inspectors earn?

A: It depends how much work they do. It also depends on where they work, what work they do and how they are employed.

Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) are employed directly by Ofsted. They are salaried and the rate varies from pound;48,500 to pound;61,500. The going rate for those Additional Inspectors (AI) who are salaried and work full-time for the Regional Inspection Service Providers (RISPs), and organise inspection work on Ofsted's behalf, may be similar to that for HMI.

HMI and AI with responsibilities for managing others will obviously earn more than that. When the job of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector was advertised last year, the salary was quoted as pound;150,000.

Not all inspectors are salaried. The majority are freelance, they are self-employed and work as AI on a contract basis for the RISPs. Usually, they will be paid a daily rate. This varies between the regions, but for most AI it is pound;400 per day. That means that a team inspector who is in your school for one day will get paid pound;400. They are not generally paid expenses or other allowances from this and, because they are self-employed, they get no pay for holidays or days that they are not working and they have to make their own arrangements for pensions and national insurance. Lead inspectors who are self-employed will be paid either four or five days' work for each inspection. This covers their pre-inspection work and the work involved after the inspection in getting the report through to publication. Some freelance AI will also be involved in quality assurance (QA) work, visiting inspections, checking pre-inspection briefings and checking reports. The amount of quality assurance work routinely carried out varies between the RISPs, but the average inspection involves at least half a day and, for many inspections, it is a day or more.

So while some additional inspectors could earn less than pound;3,000 per year, others carrying out a lot of leads and a lot of QA work could theoretically earn as much as Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector.

Selwyn Ward draws on years of inspection experience. The views expressed here are his own. To ask him a question, contact him at

Selwyn regularly answers your Ofsted questions on our forums at

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