The announcement that 83% of schools have lost their previous ‘outstanding’ grading in a wave of recent inspections is unsurprising. Previously Ofsted have allowed for ‘outstanding’ schools to only be inspected where there were specific concerns, meaning that some have gone for over 10 years without a full, graded, inspection.
This decision was recently reversed, meaning that hundreds of schools have undergone (or will be undergoing) full, graded inspections. Since their last inspections Ofsted have made changes to the Education Inspection Framework, which raises the bar to achieve ‘outstanding’. Schools will likely be concerned with this, as in many instances there may not have necessarily been a decline in standards, it is simply that they are being inspected in different way. This can be a difficult message to deliver to parents.
Governors should keep in mind that if they consider the grading or conclusions within the report to be unfair and not reflective of the school, they have the option to challenge an inspection report and grading through the factual accuracy and complaints process. This process can result in changes to the wording of the report, as well as gradings.
If you require Ofsted advice or support speak to our legal specialists as soon as possible in order to protect your interests. For a confidential discussion with a member of our team, please contact us on 0161 696 6250 or complete our online enquiry form.