chapter  5
22 Pages

Is Ofsted helpful?

WithCarol T Fitz-Gibbon and Nicola] Stephenson-Forster 97

Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) , created in 1 839, consisted of putatively independent inspectors who visited schools occasionally. HMI included among their numbers the poet Matthew Arnold and although they were widely hated in the early parts of the century (Hogg, 1990) , they later came to be seen as generally benign, supportive and highly skilled in their subject specialism. This change in attitude might have been related to their adoption of the stance that their responsibility was primarily to report to the Secretary of State for Education on the state of the nation's schools. They were not to supervise individual schools. Each HMI served a year's apprenticeship before becoming a fully fledged inspector.