Today we have published our latest annual report and accounts for 2020 to 2021, highlighting our work and financial information for the last year.

As routine inspections were paused during 2020 to 2021, this year’s report does not include the usual performance data. Instead, it reflects on how we adapted to the changing COVID-19 restrictions, supporting the sectors we inspect and regulate as well as the national COVID response.

Read the annual report and accounts.

Throughout 2020 to 2021, we continued to carry out our regulatory work and urgent inspections where necessary. However, with most of our routine work paused, around a third of our workforce were redeployed to help with the national COVID response. Some staff were deployed to other government departments, where they worked on test and trace, and planning for the return to schools and childcare providers, among other things. Others were deployed to over 100 local authorities, as well as to multi-academy trusts, children’s homes and the NHS.

The report also outlines our autumn visits to nurseries, schools, further education and skills (FES) providers and children’s social care providers to find out how they were coping with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. We produced short narrative reports with no judgements, and in-depth briefing notes about our findings for parents, government and the public.

Over three-quarters of the schools we went to said that the visit helped them to reflect on current plans and move forward. Feedback to our spring monitoring inspections was similarly positive – almost all schools we visited said that they thought our inspections would help them move forward.

The report also highlights important development work that continued during the pandemic. This includes the publication of a new inspection framework for initial teacher education and ongoing work to develop an approach to quality assure the early career framework (ECF) and reformed national professional qualifications (NPQs). We are also working on a new framework for inspecting special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision in local areas from 2022.

Published 15 July 2021