100 schools lose Ofsted outstanding rating

 

More than 100 outstanding schools have been stripped of the top rating by Ofsted because their teaching was not of the highest standard, it has emerged.

As part of major changes to inspections, announced last year, schools were told that they were unlikely to be given the top ranking unless their teaching and learning was at this level.

New figures published by Ofsted show that since last September, when the changes came into force, 155 schools have been inspected that were rated as outstanding overall, but were less than outstanding for the quality of their teaching.

Of these, 91 have now had their overall ranking downgraded to good, 18 were found to "require improvement" and two were declared inadequate. Around 28% (44 schools) retained the outstanding rating.

Ofsted said that outstanding schools are not usually inspected unless a risk assessment triggers a visit, or there is significant change to the school.

A number of factors, including a drop in attainment, may contribute towards an inspection being triggered, the inspectorate said, adding that a decision to inspect may be due to a number of reasons, not necessarily linked to the quality of teaching.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said: "The inspection framework introduced from September 2012 raised expectations. Teaching is, of course, central to the life of every school. That is why there should be a close link between Ofsted's overall effectiveness judgement and the quality of teaching.

"It makes sense that outstanding schools should have outstanding teaching - parents expect that. This doesn't mean that every lesson needs to be outstanding but, over time, schools must show outstanding teaching is helping pupils make excellent progress."

Ofsted figures show that as of the end of August last year, a fifth of schools (21%) in England were judged to be outstanding overall - around 4,442 schools in total.

Of these three-quarters (76%) were rated outstanding for teaching, while the rest had teaching which was considered good.

Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), told BBC News online: "By constantly changing the goal posts of what constitutes a good or outstanding school it makes it very difficult for schools to reach the targets imposed by Ofsted and Government.

"This is especially the case for schools if they serve in challenging communities as less and less attention is given by Ofsted to the value schools add to their pupil achievements in relation to their low starting point."

An overhaul of inspections was announced by Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw last year.

At the time, Sir Michael said there needed to be "clear and demanding criteria" for a school to be judged good or outstanding.

This means that outstanding schools should have outstanding teaching, he added.

Concerns had previously been raised that a number of schools have been judged as outstanding by inspectors, despite not receiving this rating for their teaching.

It was suggested that up to 1,000 outstanding schools could have their status reviewed. Ofsted insisted this would not mean a return to routine assessment, and that decisions on whether to review schools will be made based on risk assessments.

Other changes to inspections included scrapping the satisfactory rating and replacing it with "requires improvement".

Ofsted now inspects schools on four categories - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management.

It was also revealed today that two more free schools have been rated as outstanding by Ofsted, while another has been ordered to improve.

The Priors School in Warwickshire was found to require improvement following a visit by inspectors last month.

A report on the school said that there was not enough good and outstanding teaching and that in some lessons pupils did not learn quickly enough because activities "do not always offer the right amount of challenge, particularly for more-able pupils". In these lessons, pupils often spent too much time listening to the teacher.

Ark Atwood Primary Academy in Westminster, London, and All Saints Junior School in Reading were awarded the top ranking following an inspection earlier this month.

Inspectors found that pupils at Ark Atwood Primary made excellent progress, that behaviour was excellent, that their "highly positive attitudes contribute strongly to their progress" and that teaching was "consistently good and often outstanding".

And the inspection report on All Saints Junior concluded that children made "excellent and rapid progress" from when they started at the school, and that youngsters showed "a substantial love of learning" and had very high expectations of themselves.

The schools were among the first of the Government's flagship free schools, opening in 2011.

In total, 22 of the first 24 free schools have now had Ofsted reports published. Four have been rated outstanding, 12 were found to be good, five were considered to require improvement and one was inadequate.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said they were pleased that nearly two-thirds of inspected free schools had been found to be good or outstanding.

"Where inspectors found a handful 'require improvement', we are confident they are taking the right steps to improve standards," she said.

"Schools rated 'inadequate' are eligible for intervention. They must take urgent action to improve and will face decisive action if they are unable to demonstrate good enough progress."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Nursery Pre School Practitioner

£6 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued expansion, they are loo...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development & Relationship Manager

£45000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development & Relati...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant - Startup

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Personal Assistant is require...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)