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Office for Standards in Education
The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) is a non-ministerial United Kingdom government department, established on 1st September 1992. It is responsible for inspecting the standards of schools and teachers in England. The department produce annual league tables of schools, which have been criticised by the media and teaching unions in recent years.
In September 2001 Ofsted became responsible for registration and inspection of day care and childminding. This was previously the done by 150 local authorities, each with different standards.
Critics of the system claim that the short amount of time in which the Ofsted inspectors get to see the school does not accurately represent the day-to-day activities and can give a biased view. Further, with notice given to the school of a pending inspection they can often quickly organise themselves in order to appear better than at other times when not being watched. This, it could be said, at least forces the school and its teachers to prepare for the duration of the inspection and that can have many positive after-effects.
Schools are generally inspected every four years, though this can depend on previous Ofsted results. Sometimes schools are placed into special measures if a poor report is given.
- Education in the United Kingdom
- Estyn (Welsh equivalent)
- Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (Scottish equivalent)
- Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland equivalent)
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