Ofsted failing to recruit from the top
27 June 2012
Falling salary levels are not making it worthwhile for top quality heads to apply for positions as school inspectors.
The FDA senior civil servants' union has voiced its concerns about recruitment of school inspectors, and the BBC's File on 4 programme has reported that "failing heads" and those with primary school or no teaching experience are being employed by Ofsted as Her Majesty's inspectors (HMIs).
Paul Neilson, the union's national officer responsible for Ofsted, said that while most HMIs were highly experienced and successful school leaders, legislation requiring that 75 to 80 per cent of secondary school inspections are led by HMIs, Ofsted does not always recruit those with secondary school leadership experience.
"The FDA is concerned that recruiting new HMIs with secondary experience is now more difficult, due to the salary levels offered," Neilson said. "HMI pay levels have fallen way behind those of secondary school head teachers, which makes the role more attractive to lower-earning primary heads."
He added: "This problem is exacerbated by the offer of new prime time contracts – which the FDA disagrees with - that offer restricted hours and lower pay."