February 24, 2020

The Watchmen Revisited

Curriculum and Faith in Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework

In 2014 Policy Exchange published the seminal report Watching the Watchmen: The future of school inspections in England. While Ofsted today is a much stronger, higher performing and robust organisation than it was in 2014, there is no public body so perfect that it cannot benefit from external scrutiny.

The Watchmen Revisited examines Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework and finds that, while the principles of the Framework are sound, in key areas such as the curriculum, faith and preparing children for modern Britain Ofsted is reducing the freedoms granted to schools by the Department for Education in a way that substitutes the judgement of inspectors for that of headteachers who are producing good results. The report further emphasises that, while the new Inspection Framework’s focus on the curriculum should be welcomed, this must not be at the expense of the hard-won increase in exam results, particularly for disadvantaged children.


Iain Mansfield

Director of Research and Head of Education and Science

Join our mailing list