Fewer schools 'outstanding' under new Ofsted framework

Schools less likely to move out of 'requires improvement' rating under new framework, which looks more at curriculum

Ofsted: Schools now less likely to get 'good' or 'outstanding' judgements, data shows

Schools are less likely to be judged "good" or "outstanding" under the new Ofsted inspection framework, new data shows.

Ofsted data released today showing the results of 853 Ofsted inspections between September and December last year shows that  77 per cent of schools have been judged "good" or "outstanding" for overall effectiveness, which is a decrease from 80 per cent last year.

It also reveals that, out of 329 full inspections of schools that were previously judged "requires improvement", a total of 56 per cent have improved to "good", compared with 64 per cent last year.

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Ofsted says the new framework, introduced in September, puts more focus on assessing whether a school has a “well-designed and ambitious curriculum, and whether it has the same high ambition for all pupils”.

Ofsted's new focus on curriculum

Steve Rollett, curriculum and inspection specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “We will need to see inspection outcomes over a longer period before being able to draw any firm conclusions about the impact of the new framework on judgements.

"However, ASCL is alert to any shifting of goalposts, and it is already clear to us that it is more difficult to achieve an 'outstanding' grade under the new framework than under the previous framework.

"This has implications for schools currently rated as 'outstanding' when the exemption from routine inspections is removed. We are concerned that parents will see their school lose its 'outstanding' rating without realising this may be because of the application of a different inspection framework rather than any deterioration in standards. It will be important that this context is made clear to parents in inspection reports.”

According to the data, the percentage of schools judged "good" has decreased by 1 percentage point compared with last year, and the percentage judged "outstanding" has decreased by 3 percentage points.

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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