Annual report reveals increasing number of complaints about Ofsted

Topics covered: complaints, inspection, ofsted

Ofsted’s annual report has revealed an increasing number of complaints are being upheld than they were previously.

In terms of statistics, between 2017 and 2018, 20% of complaints were either upheld or partially upheld at the second stage of Ofsted’s complaints procedure, compared to 17% between 2016 and 2017.

With regards to complaints reaching the third stage, 32% of the 175 complaints that reached the third stage of the process were fully or partially upheld in 2017-2018, compared to 26% in the previous year.

It is stated in Ofsted’s report that, “The number of formal complaints we have received this year, as a proportion of the total number of inspections and other activities we have carried out, is similar to last year. This continues to represent a very small proportion of all of Ofsted’s work.”

The report also details how complaints have been seen as “an opportunity to learn about how we can improve how we work” and that learning points have included advising inspectors on how to, “better judge their use of language to avoid misinterpretation”.

It also explains how the complaints team had, “identified a need for clearer guidance for providers on the contexts in which an inspection might be shadowed” and suggested reviewing policy on the timing of school inspections at the start of autumn term.

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