Supplementary memorandum from OFSTED (OFS
We were pleased to meet the Committee on 5 December
and grateful for the opportunity to discuss OFSTED's current work
programme with you.
I undertook to come back to you on a couple
of issues relating to our new responsibilities in respect of child
care regulation and college inspections. These are dealt with
below. In addition, I am enclosing a copy of my September letter
to all schools informing them of changes to the section 10 inspection
system. I also enclose a copy of a letter I sent to schools recently
advising them that, from next term, we will be dropping the profile
of lesson grades. I believe this is a move that will be welcomed
by teachers and comes about as a direct result of responses made
to our recent consultation, "Improving Inspection, Improving
The Committee was interested in our proposals
for harmonising the different salaries of the inspectors who transferred
to OFSTED from local authorities in September.
OFSTED inherited a range of differing salaries
paid by local authorities to inspectors who were, ostensibly,
doing the same job. For example, in the West Country, inspectors
could earn as little as £13,000; whilst in one London borough,
salaries could be as much as £28,000.
All staff transferring to OFSTED were assimilated
to an appropriate grade following an assessment of their previous
responsibilities. For Childcare Inspectors, they were assimilated
into our B2 grade pay range (National £19,292£23,916;
London £21,792£26,216). Senior Childcare Inspectors
were assimilated into our B1 grade pay range (National £24,342£29,897;
London £27,008£32,197). As a result, more than
20% of those transferring received an immediate pay increase to
include them in the pay range. Those staff whose salary was above
the OFSTED maximum will have their existing salary protected.
OFSTED, like nearly all Civil Service departments
and the majority of large private sector employers, operates a
pay range across any given grade. Therefore, it will always be
the case that staff in the same grade could receive different
salaries. Such differences may come about as a result of different
levels of performance over time. In the case of the former local
authority staff, it may also reflect salary levels prior to joining
OFSTED. However, all staff are guaranteed to reach a "Guaranteed
Progression Point" within 5 years. The Point is approximately
four-fifths of the way through the range for the grade.
The Committee was also interested in the proportion
of the college inspection teams that had experience of the work
of colleges outside the conventional GCSE A-level programme.
The selection of team members for college inspections
is determined by the type of college and the nature of its provision.
As most colleges include 16-18 year olds and adults, the inspections
are carried out jointly with the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI).
In colleges that have a significant majority of adult students,
ALI will lead and provide the Reporting Inspector. Conversely,
Sixth Form College inspections are led by OFSTED. On all joint
inspections, the contribution from the respective inspectorate
reflects the student profile. Hence, colleges with an emphasis
on 16-18 provision have a greater proportion of OFSTED inspectors
and vice versa for colleges with a larger proportion of adults.
Almost a full year ahead of the first inspections
taking place, OFSTED recruited the Principal of a further education
college to lead on our preparations for this new work. On 1 April
2001, when we assumed responsibility for the inspection of colleges,
31 FE Funding Council inspectors transferred to OFSTED. Since
then, we have recruited a further eight specialist HM Inspectors,
all of whom have middle and senior management experience in colleges.
In addition, we have recruited over 400 Additional Inspectors
who work part-time on college inspections. The vast majority of
these Additional Inspectors have at least 10 years' teaching experience
in colleges. The subject expertise of the Additional Inspectors
covers Agriculture, Construction; Engineering; Hospitality; Sports,
Leisure & Travel; Business; Information Technology; Hairdressing
and Beauty Therapy; Health and Social Care; Visual and Performing
Arts; Basic Skills provision for Students with Learning Difficulties
and Disabilities, as well as conventional GCSE and A-levels.
Inspectors from the ALI cover an even broader
range of vocational disciplines and ALI has more inspectors with
recent experience of work-based learning. This ensures that each
college inspection team has team members who match the college's
To date, OFSTED has completed 43 college inspections.
The average inspection team comprises 20 inspectors with five
full-time inspectors and 15 additional inspectors. Other than
on inspections of sixth form colleges, the vast majority of inspectors
will have experience outside of GCSE and A-level, and in many
instances it will be every member of the team.
OFSTED has recently run a second round of recruitment
for additional inspectors. As before, all applicants have had
to be endorsed by their college principal and will undergo rigorous
training before going on inspection. Of the 300+ who applied,
nearly 200 have been selected for training. In addition, we have
recruited six full-time secondees from colleges to work as inspectors.
The secondments are for a minimum period of three months and we
plan at least two intakes per year. The first six secondees are
all senior staff in colleges.
Although we do not provide detailed CVs ahead
of inspection, colleges do receive pen portraits of the team members.
I hope that the Committee finds this information
helpful. We look forward to meeting the Committee again in the
Mike Tomlinson, HMCI