‘Some outstanding schools aren’t that good’, says Ofsted

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Ofsted has said some schools rated Outstanding may no longer be as good as their rating suggests. A report completed by a National Audit Office (NAO) has found 1,620 schools, mostly rated outstanding, had not been inspected for six years or more, and 290 for a decade or more. From that, there is no way of telling whether these schools had since fallen into a mediocre category, said Ofsted bosses. However, if a school raises a safeguarding concern or there are significant drops in results, inspections can be triggered.

The NAO has said that the decision of the Department for Education and Ofsted to end routine inspections for outstanding and good schools has reduced the effectiveness of the inspectorate. The schools inspectorate has also been found to have missed its own targets on the re-inspections of the weakest tools (those rated inadequate).

Nick Gibb, Schools Minister, has said:-

If Ofsted has reason to believe a school is no longer meeting its previous high standards, we would expect it to use its powers to carry out a full inspection – this has always been the case – and remains so.”

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