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Is OFSTED worth some £200 million annually??

(7 Posts)
Strix Tue 20-Nov-12 11:39:53

Another thread sparked my to wonder what this organisation actually costs. Some £200 000 000 seems a bit much for my little budget. Heat do you think?

Value for money, or out of control waste?

Below is copied from recent OFSTED annual report (

Financial Performance
124. The total net request for resources approved in the Main Estimate, was £186.1m. As part of the Spring Supplementary Estimate Process total net request for resources was increased to £193.5m, which includes £0.3m for capital. This increase was due to the take-up of Departmental Unallocated Provision of £3.7m and increase in take-up of provisions. Copies of the Estimate are available on the HM Treasury website (
125. Ofsted’s net resource outturn was £182.0m, meaning that Ofsted under spent against this limit by £11.3m. The most significant factors contributing to the underspend were as a result of the government spending restrictions and the number of vacancies which were carried during the year plus associated travel costs.
126. Ofsted’s net request for resources approved by Parliament for 2010–11 of £193.5m is £10.1m (5%) lower than the net request for resources approved for 2009–10 (£203.6m), demonstrating Ofsted’s achievements in lowering its costs and achieving value for money.
127. Ofsted’s agreed limit for its administration costs reduced by £0.6m (2%) from £28.0m in 2009–10 to £27.4m in 2010–11. Actual expenditure in 2010–11 against this limit was £21.5m, an underspend of £5.9m. The most significant factors contributing to the underspend were the government spending restrictions and the re-lifing of a Finance lease over 11 years, previously 10 years. In 2009–10, the administration budget was underspent by £0.2m.
128. The net cash requirement for 2010-11 was £179.5m compared with an estimate of £196.4m. The most significant factors contributing to the cash variation of £16.9m was resource underspend and lower than expected utilisation of provisions.
129. Departments preparing resource accounts under the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 are required to produce the following analysis. It is a reconciliation of resource expenditure between Estimates, Accounts and Budgets.

nannynick Tue 20-Nov-12 13:20:10

Does their published spending details show how much each section of Ofsted spends? Over the years their remit has changed, from inspecting Schools, then Early Years Education and Childminders, Social Services departments.

Strix Tue 20-Nov-12 20:36:21

No idea, nick. The URL is in my earlier post. It just gives overall budget. But I think the huge scope of OFSTED is probably the problem. Too much power is a dangerous thing. And OFSTED clearly doesn't know where it's boundaries are drawn.

And I do accept that their intentions are good, but in practice they are doing damage in places. They also do good in places. But the damag needs to be addressed.

Welovecouscous Tue 20-Nov-12 20:36:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Strix Tue 20-Nov-12 20:42:49

Any chance you might like to elaborate?

fraktion Tue 20-Nov-12 23:23:47

It needs further breakdown. The vOCR at £103 per provider per year is supposed to be self-funding, for example.

MrAnchovy Wed 21-Nov-12 04:06:06

Maybe not - but then they don't cost £200m.

In that year they spent £182m. Last year (to April 2012) they spent £165m. There are cuts planned to bring that down to £146m by 2014/15.

Off the top of my head there's about 8.5m children in English schools and about 1.5m in registered childcare - that means they cost about £16.50 per child in 2011/12. Doesn't sound out of control to me.

I have been very critical of some things Ofsted has done, but I don't think spending too much money is one of them - if anything they are IMHO under-resourced.

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