As you report ("'Demoralising' inspection reform brews dissatisfaction", 20 January), in order to tackle the number of coasting schools that have remained stubbornly "satisfactory", Ofsted has announced proposals for the introduction of a new "requires improvement" grade. Schools placed in this category will be more frequently reinspected and will have two chances to show progress over a three-year period. To say that a school previously judged "satisfactory" in its past two inspections will be placed in special measures under the proposed new arrangements is a misinterpretation of the proposals. In the case of the school mentioned in the article, if it is judged to require improvement in its next inspection, it would have a further 12-18 months to bring about the improvements it needs to make.
I understand that this is a big change for schools, but there are a million children in 3,000 stubbornly satisfactory schools who risk losing out because their schools are not ambitious enough. I am determined to tackle this. The proposals will be subject to consultation, which we aim to launch next month. Any changes will not be introduced until September 2012. We welcome your views on how any changes will be best implemented in practice.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector.