The end of the Wilshaw era

After 5 years, what change have we seen, and how will Ofsted now evolve?

Damien Roberts Damien Roberts
October 2021

Following five years as the Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Michael Wilshaw is set to step down as you will be fully aware. We’ve watched as his time has unfolded but we’d love to hear how you feel about the changes he made, and the change set to be ahead with a new leader in place.

Looking back, what are the big changes that he made? Well inspectors are now all training in-house for a start and they are no longer allowed to sell consultancy services. The Common Inspection Framework has tried to make it clearer what is expected of schools and indeed further education establishments, bringing both under the same inspection umbrella.

Having said that, how many schools have improved, how many have plateaued, and how many have unfortunately gone down-hill? More importantly, why? On both sides, we need to understand where and how some are making headway in improvement, and others sadly aren’t. It is in no way a simple question to answer and with schools facing so much change continually, there are numerous factors involved, as you well know. 

In the last few years, yes we’ve seen big changes from or indeed for Ofsted but how much of this has supported school improvement? We’ve seen struggling schools taken under the wing of more successful schools and huge pressure placed on this as the answer, but still there are issues. 

For us we believe, having worked within education for best part of a decade, that collaboration is vital. Sharing success strategies and technics to support improvements has worked in the favour of many of the schools we work with. We also believe that software can help schools with improvement, streamlining processes, providing a visual representation at the click of a button and helping to identify strengths and weaknesses.

With thoughts of collaboration in mind and Wilshaw stepping down, we’re keen to hear what you think the future may hold and how it could unfold. As with any new leadership there is bound to be change, what do you predict this change might be? Also, where do you stand in terms of school inspections with or without Ofsted? Are you in the camp of ‘scrap inspections’ or the ‘how will we remain accountable without inspections’? Who knows what change the future will bring or how Ofsted will evolve under Spielman, let us know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment below.

Plus, if you would like to know more about our improvement solutions, and how they can support your school, please contact

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