30/05/2012

Changes To School Inspections Announced

Ofsted today announces the results of its consultation on changes to the way it inspects schools, further education and skills, and initial teacher education.

The changes, which come into effect from 1 September 2012, are intended to support headteachers and principals in their work to provide the best possible education for pupils and learners.

Ofsted's consultation, ‘A good education for all', was launched by Sir Michael Wilshaw, HMCI, in February 2012. The 12-week consultation received over 5,000 responses and the views received have directly shaped the announcements made today.

Announcing the results of the consultation, Sir Michael Wilshaw, HMCI said: "All schools and colleges can, and should, provide at least a good level of education. Parents and employers, children and learners, expect nothing less. That is why we are introducing these changes to the way we inspect. Inspectors will be clear about what needs to improve, and will return sooner to those that are not yet good to check their progress."

Sir Michael stressed that inspectors' evaluation of the progress made by pupils and learners will be central to their judgement on whether a school is providing a good education. This means if pupils are making good progress, a school can be found good or better even where attainment is below average.

Sir Michael confirmed that Ofsted will no longer describe schools, further education and skills providers and teacher training providers as ‘satisfactory' where they are not providing a good level of education. From September 2012, the ‘satisfactory' grade will be replaced with ‘requires improvement' and inspection reports will be clear about what needs to improve.

Under the new arrangements, schools will receive almost no notice of an inspection with inspectors calling headteachers the afternoon before an inspection takes place. Ofsted proposed conducting school inspections without any notice but listened to headteachers' concerns about this during the consultation. Calling the working day before an inspection will enable headteachers to make any necessary logistical arrangements including notifying parents and governors of the inspection. Parents can be reassured that inspectors are seeing schools as they really are.

(GK)

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