5th October 2007 at 01:00
Q I understand you have to train to be an inspector, but how much does it cost? Someone I know who trained under the old system paid about pound;1,000, but I've heard it can be as much as pound;3,000 now. A Periodically, Ofsted recruits mainly headteachers on secondment to undertake some inspections. In those cases, Ofsted provides the training and this is part of the job, and not something the applicant has to pay for. Otherwise, recruitment and training of inspectors is a matter for the five Regional Inspection Service Providers (RISPs), which organise inspections on Ofsted's behalf. It is best to contact the RISPs directly, including the one covering your region. They are required to train inspectors in accordance with Ofsted's specifications. The recruitment process will vary from one region to another. The cost of training is also likely to vary. The actual training cost may be more in the region of Pounds 2,000. However, when VAT and other costs, such as travel, accommodation and supply cover (for a course that may take about eight days) are factored in, a total of pound;3,000 sounds plausible. Ofsted has indicated it wants RISPs to refresh the pool of inspectors and encourage greater diversity. It would be concerned, therefore, if barriers were being put up that prevented a broader range of people from joining the ranks particularly as older inspectors retire. Q Is it true that on the afternoon of the second day, inspectors are busy writing their report, ready to feedback to the headteacher and senior management team? Are lesson observations limited to the first day and second morning? Q That is quite a common model for a two-day inspection, but there could be variation depending on the circumstances of the school. The lead inspector will usually spell out when they are likely to be in lessons and when they are pulling evidence together and preparing their initial draft report. But the sensible approach is to be prepared to be observed at any tim *

Selwyn Ward draws on years of inspection experience. The views expressed here are his own. To ask him a question, contact him at regularly answers your Ofsted questions on our forums at

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