Alliance comments on Ofsted inspection changes

3rd February 2015

Commenting on Ofsted plans to introduce a common inspection framework across early years providers, schools and colleges in September, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“We welcome the announcement of a new common inspection framework and hope that this change will lead to a fairer and more consistent approach to inspections across the education system.

“For the new approach to be successful, however, it is vital that inspectors avoid adopting a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and ensure that all inspections are tailored to the relevant provision types. Inspection criteria such as ‘quality of assessments’ and ‘outcomes for children’, for instance, will mean something very different in an early years context compared to that of a school or college, and it’s vital that this is taken into account in inspection judgments.

“It’s therefore crucial that all inspectors operating under the new framework are appropriately trained and are experts in their respective fields. The early years sector has long raised concerns about the quality of inspections, and as such, we welcome the news of more stringent assessment and quality assurance processes for contracted inspectors. This is an important — and much-needed — first step in improving the fairness and consistent of early years inspections.”

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Notes for editors


  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website:

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