Ofsted admitted during an invite-only meeting with the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) that its complaint policy is not working and will be reviewed.
In the 2021-22 year only 17% of complaints had aspects upheld – the lowest in eight years.
Ofsted is now reviewing its complaints policy to see how it can be improved. One such improvement will be enhanced oversight, which should allow “problematic” inspections to be picked up before issues escalate.
A major concern for trust leaders was Ofsted inspectors heavy reliance on comments made by pupils during inspections which resulted in disproportionate weight being given to negative comments in final judgments. Ofsted has also stated they were made aware of inappropriate questions posed to pupils, including asking one of he thought it was a “white, middle-class school” and another asked if she geld uncomfortable walking upstairs in a skirt.
Ofsted officials have been asked to make the process less bureaucratic. In the meeting, Ofsted admitted that inspectors are being trained on how to see “the big picture” after complaints were made about inconsistent grades.
A spokesperson for Ofsted said, “We also make every effort to engage with people from the sectors we inspect and act on their feedback where we can.”
Now will be the time to see whether or not Ofsted will actually act on these complaints and take the concerns of the sector and those who use it seriously.