Inspection

The Outstanding Ofsted: What a difference half a decade makes

In past blog articles we’ve taken a close look at just what it means to be an ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ school, as defined by the all-powerful Ofsted organisation. If you’ve been reading with us, then you’ll appreciate that these grades are anything but clear cut.

In this, our third instalment on Ofsted grades, we hone in on the differences that are today faced by schools aiming for that coveted outstanding rating.

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‘Good’ – Just what is it by Ofsted standards?

Ofsted grading is an enduring matter of debate amongst educational professionals – a way of representing an entire school, its pupils and its workforce’s efforts, in a single word. For parents, an Ofsted grade can seem completely straightforward – and with that one word a rush for school places ensues.

Yet as any education professional knows, all is never as it seems when it comes to Ofsted. Here, we take a look at the ‘Good’ grade – and explain why it continues to be a sticky issue.

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Ofsted: Just what is outstanding, anyway?

Ofsted. For teachers and educational professionals, it’s the single word that can strike fear into hearts; for parents, carers and guardians, it’s often considered the Holy Grail of a school’s quality – the be all, and end all. However truly defining what makes a school ‘Outstanding’, may not be such a simple matter. As we’ll go on to discover, this seal of quality is often not such a straightforward concept.

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New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework

New plans revealed by Sir Michael Wilshaw this week are ‘the biggest reforms to inspections in Ofsted’s 20-year history’ (TES).  The new common inspection framework will come into effect from 1 September 2015.

Under the new framework, any schools classified as ‘good’ will have a short visit every 3 years, rather than every 5 years under present inspection frameworks, in order to identify any signs of decline; triggering a full inspection if found.

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