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Ofsted to directly manage early years inspections

Ofsted will directly manage its early years inspections and regulatory work as of April 2017, the inspectorate has announced today. Two companies, Tribal and Prospects, manage the existing early years inspections on Ofsted’s behalf, with their contracts ending on 31 March 2017.

“As these contracts come to an end this is the right time to consider what our next steps should be,” said Nick Jackson, director of corporate services at Ofsted. “We have decided that early years inspection should be brought in line with schools and further education and skills, with Ofsted directly managing all inspections. We are confident that we can manage this transition smoothly.”

Ofsted hopes that bringing these inspections in-house will enable it to have greater control over the selection, training and management of inspectors, as well as complete oversight of the quality of inspection.

Neil Leitch, Pre-school Learning Alliance CEO, said the charity “warmly welcomes” the news. 

“This decision will not only bring the early years in line with schools and education, but also help ensure that future early years inspections are of a consistently high standard,” Leitch said. “Having long called for this change, it is very positive to see Ofsted engaging with the early years providers, and taking their views and concerns on board. We hope that this approach will continue going forward.”