The Office for Standards in Education is a separate, non-ministerial Government department.
The chief inspector is directly accountable to Parliament and is required to provide written answers to MPs' Parliamentary Questions. Chris Woodhead is given a set of personal objectives at the beginning of each year by the Department for Education and Employment and is awarded a bonus of up to 10.8 per cent of his salary for achieving them.
The objectives include, for example, completing a particular number of inspections, ensuring new computers systems are running, ensuring the inspection service gets good media coverage and providing leadership to the staff at OFSTED.
The chief inspector deals directly with the Treasury for his department's funding.
Mr Woodhead will be called to give evidence to the select committee and can expect a tough grilling from MPs. At the Liberal Democrat annual conference last month, Mr Woodhead shared a fringe meeting platform with Don Foster, the party's education spokesman and member of the selectcommittee, and was criticised for his personal style and the work of his inspectors.