Now that the coalition has a full grasp of the scope and seriousness of the deficit, and they are practically and philosophically minded to take the necessary austerity measures to attempt to ameliorate the problem, its clear that the new Department for Education must permanently abolish Ofsted.
In a system where parents have greater, real control over schools, and those schools are directly accountable them, an organisation whose sole purpose is to inspect schools and produce reports on them for central government is surplus to requirements.
Parents have all the feedback they need from their schools directly since the schools are to be made responsible to them, and not the state. That makes the generation of annual reports that very few people read or make use of a complete waste of scarce resources.
The performance of schools is better monitored by the examination results that they produce; parents who are not getting what they require are to be given the power to change how schools are run; Ofsted clearly has no role to play in any of this. It is only in a system where the parent has no say or control over a school, and where everything is run by a monolithic central government that a structure like Ofsted has anything like a meaningful purpose.
Ofsted has no control over the day to day running of schools. They can only comment, recommend and generate yearly assessments that have no direct impact on how schools run between their reports. In other words, the work that they do is next to worthless when it comes to how a school is run, the services and the outcomes that affect students and parents daily.
There is a clear and logical case for Ofsted to be closed down permanently. Fine grained, locally accountable schools that report to and that are controllable by parents make Ofsted obsolete. With a budget of £236m in 2007, and no useful function, Ofsted is a prime candidate for the axe.