Ofsted moves the goalposts for ‘outstanding’ schools

Ofsted moves the goalposts for ‘outstanding’ schools

Ofsted’s National Director of Education has revealed that some schools judged to be ‘outstanding’ face being downgraded despite showing improvements since their last inspection because of new grading criteria.

Chris Russell made the admission in a video he posted, saying that there was “no doubt that under the current education inspection framework ‘outstanding’ is a challenging and exacting judgment to achieve.

“So it does mean I think that you need to be very careful, if, for example, a school that has been judged ‘outstanding’ a good many years ago is inspected again and judged to be ‘good’.

“That doesn’t mean that the school has declined in recent years, in fact the opposite can be the case, so very important, I think, in those circumstances, to read the inspection report really carefully, to get a really good view of how good the school is now and how well the school is doing.”

Recently Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector said that a ‘realistic starting point’ for the new system of grading could see a reduction to just one in ten schools being judged as ‘outstanding.’ Currently around one in five schools hold the highest grade.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “The outstanding judgement is rightly challenging and exacting – it shows that schools are consistently and securely doing everything that makes a school good, and going beyond that to deliver a high quality education.”

Ofsted has said that to avoid any confusion all first EIF inspections will clearly state that they are carried out under the new grading framework.

Inspectors will visit all schools awarded an outstanding grade prior to 2015 to carry out comprehensive Section 5 inspections, but any schools who were awarded the grade after this date will only face limited Section 8 inspections.  Contact our education team for advice.

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Ofsted moves the goalposts for ‘outstanding’ schools
Ofsted moves the goalposts for ‘outstanding’ schools