All systems go

6th February 1998 at 00:00
The Government is close to recognising the schemes set up by independent schools as their answer to the inspections carried out by the Office for Standards in Inspection.

Chris Woodhead, chief inspector and head of OFSTED, said he would be recommending recognition to David Blunkett, the Education Secretary. Negotiations about two requirements - that the lead inspector be independent of the schools being inspected and that reports be published - were close to being resolved, he said.

Recognition of the inspection systems set up by the independent school associations would mean that OFSTED could rely on them to carry out a regular cycle of inspections every six years. OFSTED itself would then only have to inspect those independent schools that did not belong to any of the major associations. At present, it has a duty to inspect all schools, including independents, but does not have the resources to do so.

There are two inspection systems currently operating in the independent sector. One was set up by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and mainly covers the major boys' public schools.

The other is called Accreditation, Review and Consultancy Service and is used by the other main associations such as the Girls' Schools' Association and the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools. The associations hope to merge the two systems within a year.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today