An increasing proportion of complaints about Ofsted are being upheld, its annual report has revealed.
Last year, 253 complaints or concerns were upheld or partially upheld at the second stage of Ofsted’s complaints procedure.
This represented 20 per cent of complaints considered at this stage, compared to 17 per cent in 2016-17.
And just under a third (32 per cent) of the 175 complaints that reached the third stage of the process were fully or partially upheld in 2017-18, compared to 26 per cent in the previous year.
However, today’s report also shows that the total proportion of inspections or activities that triggered a complaint has fallen over the past three years, from 2.8 per cent in 2015-16 to 2 per cent in 2017-18.
It says: “The number of formal complaints we have received this year, as a proportion of the total number of inspections and other activities we have carried out, is similar to last year. This continues to represent a very small proportion of all of Ofsted’s work.”
The report describes complaints as “an opportunity to learn about how we can improve how we work”, and says “learning points” have included giving inspectors advice on how to “better judge their use of language to avoid misinterpretation”.
It adds that the complaints team had also “identified a need for clearer guidance for providers on the contexts in which an inspection might be shadowed”, as well as suggesting a review of policy on the timing of school inspections at the start of autumn term.
Today's report also revels that Ofsted has been given permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that quashed an inspection report because of concerns about its complaints process.