Ofsted 'set to fail off-rolling schools'

Inspectors 'will be told to give "inadequate" ratings' to schools that remove pupils in order to boost exam results

John Roberts

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Ofsted inspectors will be told to give an "inadequate" judgement to schools that are found to have off-rolled pupils under its new framework, it has been reported.

The inspectorate’s new framework is set to place an increased focus on schools where pupils are removed from school rolls in order to boost exam results.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, inspectors will be told to give an "inadequate" judgement to schools found to be off-rolling pupils because they will not score highly in exams.

The newspaper also reported that schools where bad behaviour and bullying go unchecked will be targeted by Ofsted.

The report says that, under the new inspection framework, inspectors will praise schools with “zero tolerance” policies that teach children how to behave well by punishing the smallest misdemeanours and which develop pupils’ good character in arts, sports, music, military-style cadets and volunteering classes.

Asked to confirm the report, an Ofsted spokesperson said: “Our proposals are published on Wednesday.”

Ofsted 'identifies off-rolling schools'

The inspectorate is already committed to tackling off-rolling and has said that inspectors will be better able to do this under its new framework.

Last year Sean Harford, Ofsted's national director for education, told Tes: “We are now seeing even within the current framework reports are coming through now where [off-rolling] is clearly identified, as one of the issues which has seen the school be judged as 'inadequate'.”

The inspectorate’s annual report for 2018 warned that 19,000 pupils were taken off school rolls between Year 10 and 11  within one year, with around half of these not reappearing on the roll of another state-funded school.

It has a list of 300 schools which it has identified as potentially being guilty of off-rolling because of the high numbers of pupils moving between Years 10 and 11.

However, Ofsted has refused to identify these schools, saying that it does not “name and shame schools on the basis of data.

Ofsted’s new inspection framework is set to place more weight on to a school’s curriculum, as part of a judgement on the overall quality of education that a school provides.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman has also previously described the inspectorate’s plans as a “shot across the bows” of schools that are getting good results the wrong way.


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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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