Privately run schools will not change Ofsted inspections

4 Nov 99
Ofsted will have no real difficulty in respect of the influx of private sector firms running schools, chief inspector Chris Woodhead said this week.

05 November 1999

Giving evidence to the education select committee, Woodhead said the watchdog's primary role was to ensure the education service was delivered effectively and efficiently.

He told MPs: 'It is early days but I don't envisage it being a problem at all. We will simply establish what improvement the private sector has made compared with the council. It is the effectiveness of the function we will be looking at and it does not matter who provides it.'

He denied that the growing involvement of private sector firms would involve new responsibilities for Ofsted. He told the November 3 committee hearing: 'The Department for Education must be confident that the private sector will deliver services of suitable quality. We would want to be very centrally involved in assessing the quality of that provision.'

However, Woodhead renewed his attacks on teachers, accusing them of 'blaming everyone but themselves' for poor standards and insisted that a 'culture of excuses and obstruction' existed in a minority of schools.

He acknowledged that he 'sometimes pushed the boundaries too far' in his dealings with the press but added: 'I try to point people's attention to what matters.'


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