Ofsted pulls provider’s ‘inadequate’ report in unprecedented move

Re-inspection ordered six weeks after publication

Ofsted has taken the unprecedented step of unpublishing an ‘inadequate’ report for a training provider – and now plans to carry out a reinspection following an appeal.

UK Training & Development Limited (UKTD), based in Hemel Hampstead, was handed the lowest possible judgement in a report published in October. The outcome opened up the provider to contract termination from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The company’s owner threatened the inspectorate with legal action after saying she was “shocked” with the damaging report, which failed to consider the impact of Covid-19 on the hairdressing industry that her provider delivers apprenticeships to.

Read more here

The Times Education Commission calls for Ofsted to be reformed

Times Education Commission calls for schooling reset

Times report ‘brimming with good ideas’, says children’s commissioner

Dame Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England, said the report was “brimming with good ideas” and that she supported its calls for more digital inclusion.

She told Times Radio’s breakfast programme: “There’s some good stuff there and it’s a great time now to be thinking about it and being ambitious about education in this country.”

To read recommendation 9 about Ofsted reform, click here

MP accuses Ofsted of sending ‘inspection hit squad with pre-arranged agenda’ to Kettering school

The school was downgraded to requires improvement

The education watchdog has been accused of sending an ‘inspection hit squad with a pre-arranged agenda’ to a Kettering school.

Last month Bishop Stopford School was downgraded by Ofsted from outstanding – a rating it had held since 2008 – to requires improvement.

The Headlands school’s headteacher said she was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the report, with a formal complaint lodged over the inspection process.

Read more in the local newspaper here

Ofsted’s widespread downgrading of British schools

Watchdog says lower ratings show inspections are needed but teaching leaders voice their criticism

Hundreds of schools previously rated as “outstanding” have been downgraded by Ofsted following their first inspections in many years.

The general downgrading proves that leaving a school to its own devices does not make it better, according to Ofsted, but anger is growing among teachers over the “brutal” inspections.

Why were schools revisited?

During the last academic year, more than 500 schools were visited after a clause that made them exempt from frequent reinspection was lifted. Introduced by Michael Gove in 2012, the clause meant outstanding schools didn’t need regular visits unless there were specific concerns.

However, the exemption was lifted in 2020 after Ofsted warned that over a thousand schools had not been inspected in at least ten years, said Schools Week.

Read more in The Week

Hundreds of schools in England lose outstanding status after reinspection

Only 17% of 370 top-rated schools kept their ranking after many years of exemption from oversight by education watchdog Ofsted.

Hundreds of schools in England have been downgraded by Ofsted after being reinspected for the first time in years.

According to the watchdog, only 17% of 370 “outstanding” schools kept their grade when they had a full reinspection in 2021-22.

Ofsted said it had reviewed more than 500 institutions in the last school year that had previously been exempt from regular inspections, because they had been rated as “outstanding”, the highest grading available.

Read more in the Guardian.

Four in five ‘outstanding’ schools lose top Ofsted grade

Watchdog says data from first full year after exemption lifted shows ‘removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better’

More than four-fifths of ‘outstanding’ schools inspected last year lost their coveted top grade, Ofsted has said, after their exemption from inspection was finally removed.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said the outcomes from the first full year of inspections since it was scrapped “show that removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better”. A fifth dropped at least two grades.

Schools rated ‘outstanding’ were exempt from re-inspection between 2012 and 2020, unless inspectors had concerns about their performance or safeguarding arrangements.

Read more in Schools Week

Ofsted’s misuse of research should be seen as a national scandal

Education journalist Warwick Mansell examines evidence that Ofsted has misused education research

What has Ofsted been trying to achieve with its ‘research reviews’, which have been taking place into a range of national curriculum subjects over the past 18 months?

To judge from the reaction from much of the profession to at least three of them, it is almost as if they were set up to alienate thoughtful teachers from across England, further damaging the inspectorate’s standing with the workforce.

I’ve been having a look this week at Ofsted’s use of some of the evidence it cites in its recently-published review of research in English, before pulling back and also noting responses to its documents on maths, and modern languages.

Read Warwick’s analysis in the NEU Blog

Tables turned as teachers rate Ofsted inadequate

Fewer than one in ten teachers think Ofsted has raised standards at their school, polling for The Times has found.

The vast majority said they would rate the regulator as “inadequate” or “requires improvement” and that they had no confidence in the current inspection system.

Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector, said recently that schools overwhelmingly found Ofsted inspections to be fair and constructive, and dismissed suggestions that the pressure of scrutiny was driving headteachers from the profession.

Read more in The Times