Ofsted is increase the number of inspectors in each of its inspection teams from seven to eight.
The inspectorate claims the move will decrease the burden placed by its inspections on local authority children’s services departments, by cutting the amount of time required to complete on site assessments. However, the amount of time spent the overall inspection process will remain the same.
The move follows complaints from local authorities about the amount of time and resources currently required to accommodate the requirements of Ofsted inpections.
A spokeswoman explained:
“We have listened to feedback from local authorities, and the reduction in days spent on site aims to make the inspection process easier to manage. It will also allow inspectors time away from evidence gathering to focus on analysis and evaluation of evidence – supporting more efficient and targeted inspection activity when they go back onsite.”
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills has been the subject of controversy in recent months. Last month it declared three authorities – West Berkshire Council, Cumbria County Council and Lambeth Borough Council – ‘inadequate’ in less than a week.
The previous month, research by Impower suggested that Ofsted inspections could have a “catastrophic” effect on child protection services.