Hundreds of schools lose “outstanding” rating

Hundreds of schools lose “outstanding” rating

The widespread downgrading shows that leaving a school to its own devices does not make it better, says the boss of Ofsted.

The widespread downgrading shows that leaving a school to its own devices does not make it better, says the boss of Ofsted.

Tuesday 22 November 2022 03:13, UK

The union says the teacher suffered serious physical and emotional trauma. File pic
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Hundreds of English schools previously rated “outstanding” have been downgraded by Ofsted after their first inspections in years.

More than 500 were visited in the last academic year after a clause was lifted that had made them exempt from regular reinspection.

Introduced in 2012, it meant outstanding schools didn’t need regular visits unless there were specific concerns – but that system ended two years ago.

The school’s watchdog said only 17% of the 370 schools it inspected in 2021-22 kept their outstanding rating.

It added that the schools’ average gap since their previous inspection was 13 years.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief, said it showed “removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better”.

Some 62% of schools reinspected were demoted one level to “good”, while 21% were said to either “require improvement” (the third tier) or were “inadequate” (the bottom tier).

“Exempting outstanding schools deprived parents of up-to-date information. It also left a lot of schools without the constructive challenge that regular inspection provides.

“The exemption was a policy founded on the hope that high standards, once achieved, would never drop, and that freedom from inspection might drive them even higher.

“These outcomes show that removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better.”

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