17 December 2004
The shared inspection regime for children's services will not be examining everything from school dinners to swings in exhaustive detail, the inspector leading the programme said this week.
Offering a cautionary comment to MPs, chief schools inspector David Bell said: 'We cannot, nor should we, attempt to inspect everything… It is important that we don't over-expect what inspection can do, even under these joint arrangements.'
He added that there was a 'serious debate to be had about the future of regulation'.
Bell joined other senior inspectors on December 13 to give evidence to the Commons education select committee on the proposed Joint Area Reviews for children's services.
Proposals are out to consultation and the new regime will begin in September.
Bell told MPs there was no contradiction between Ofsted's new 'lighter touch' regime, which will mean more frequent but less intense inspections, and the Joint Area Review programme.
Although a multi-disciplinary inspection team will carry out some fieldwork in every authority, Bell said it would not be at the same level everywhere.