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Title: Managing the school's inspectorate : independent team practices and outcomes
Author: Pike, Calvin.
Awarding Body: South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2002
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This study is about the managemenot f `independent'i nspections of schoolsb y teams in England during the period September 1993-7. The central research problem is seen as the absence of a managerial focus by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) on the work of teams -a management gap that both triggers and lies at the core of the study. The investigation is shaped by four initial research questions, namely: " How can contractors for OFSTED arrange their teams to encourage inspectors to manage and operate in inspections so as to ensure consistency of practice? " What factors influence inspection team practices? " What are the factors affecting the actions of contractors in supporting the practices of inspection teams? " How do teams develop? The study describes and explores the extent to which the roles and responsibilities of different players within the new inspection system are identified, organised to manage it most effectively, and operate interdependently. The literature is reviewed against a discussion of the legislative background in the Education (Schools) Act 1992 which led to the creation of OFSTED. This considers the nature of teams, of managing teams, of professionals and of professional teams offering contracted services within the public sector. This literature is reviewedi n turn in the light of that on the developingn otion of new public managementw, ith its emphasis on contracting as a prominent means of service delivery. Drawing on the literature concerning the work of teams, the management of public services and OFSTED, a research design was developed using multiple methods matching the characteristics of the sites for the research. Two major phases of the research took place - locally and nationally based. The local phase included 155 registered inspectors in responding to a survey that highlighted the practice and performances of the independent teams involved. A series of interviews also took place with registered inspectors, contractors and ex-HMI to reflect on thesep rocessest,h e outcomesa nd the influences on them. The national phase comprised two elements: surveys involving 72 contractors and 595 inspectors and desk-based analysis of OFSTED's Education Information System (EIS), access to which was gained during the research process. Through EIS, data related to 2000 inspections was analysed and samples of reports and the evidence which supports them were examined; conclusions were drawn about the information, some of which was previously unused. The implementation of this design was supported by the researcher's range of insider roles within the Schools Inspection community. The insider/researcherr ole literature is thus also reviewed and critiqued. Findings confirmed the extent to which there was neglect or confusion concerning the managerial needs of inspection teams. Inconsistencies evident from the assumptions held about how inspection teams are managed were identified. Disjunction between local and national findings were exposedw here evident. The findings also emphasesth e limitations of the literature, particularly the extent of theory which support understanding of `short-life' teams. As the system for independent inspections of schools was at an early stage in relation to the history of the inspectorate as a whole, and this study based primarily on the first cycle of inspections, these conclusions are necessarily tentative. Proposals for future research as well as suggestions for improving the management of inspections are made. Where appropriate the findings are related to contracted out teams operating in other public services
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Public services Education