Ofsted acumen less than 'satisfactory'

8th January 2010 at 00:00

Rather than chide teachers for naively believing urban myths, Chief Inspector of Schools Christine Gilbert might more constructively publish the hard facts that could bring reassurance ("School inspections have no secret agenda", December 18).

My school was inspected just before Christmas and, despite improvements across the board since our last inspection in May 2007, dropped from a "good" to a "satisfactory" overall. Will the chief inspector publish statistics for September to December 2009? How many schools which were formerly rated "good" have dropped to "satisfactory"? How many schools formerly rated "satisfactory" have risen to "good"?

This must be a simple exercise to conduct and would reassure schools that the new inspection framework is not consistently downgrading schools.

Until this happens, the response of incredulity from my parents, pupils and staff does far more damage to confidence in Ofsted's judgments than it does to strong schools. If, as heads suspect, there is a significant increase in the proportion of "satisfactory" schools, what are we to make of the repeated claim by ministers, and the chief inspector herself, that schools are improving? Apparently this is not the case.

Adrian Porter SJ, Headmaster, Wimbledon College.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today