What is Ofsted, how do school inspection reports work and what is the rating system?

What is Ofsted, how do school inspection reports work and what is the rating system?

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OFSTED is the organisation that aims to make sure children are being cared for and taught properly across the UK.

Here’s all you need to know on the independent watchdog – and the different ratings they can be awarded.

Ofsted are supposed to make sure you children are getting the best from their school
Ofsted are supposed to make sure you children are getting the best from their school
Getty – Contributor

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills.

It reports directly to Parliament and is independent and impartial.

By law it must inspect schools to give information to parents, to promote improvement and to hold staff to account.

How do the school inspection reports work?

After the inspection, Ofsted publishes a public report that contains information on the school’s performance, its pupils’ work, observation reports on lessons and views from staff, parents and pupils.

They  can be valuable when your family are deciding which schools to apply to.

It was announced on 16th January that Ofsted inspections would be less narrowly focused on exam results.

Schools that teach a narrow curriculum designed solely to improve test results and gaming league table rankings will be punished.

What do the ratings mean?

Judgements are scored on a four-point scale:

  • One – outstanding
  • Two – good
  • Three – satisfactory
  • Four – inadequate

The report also makes suggestions for improvement and the school is expected to put the suggestions into practice.


What’s the latest?

Labour voted through radical plans to abolish private schools and force them to sell their playing fields in a Stalinist-style land grab.

Party activists voted to effectively declare war on independent schools by setting out plans to “integrate” them with the state.

Private schools will lose their multi-billion pound tax breaks and be ordered to sell off their buildings under the radical plans.

And as part of their shake-up of education, Labour also vowed to abolish the schools inspector Ofsted.

But critics furiously accused Jeremy Corbyn of hypocrisy as the Labour leader went to a private prep school.

While a string of Labour frontbenchers have coughed up cash to send their kids to elite private schools.

It is estimated that abolishing Britain’s world famous private schools would cost a whopping £7billion a year.

This is because they save the Government around £3.5bn a year by excluding pupils from state education spending, and they pay around the same in taxes.

And privately some Labour figures admitted the plan voted through by conference yesterday could be illegal.

In another highly controversial move, the party has also vowed to abolish Ofsted because the inspections regime is too “stressful” for staff and teachers.

Under the plan, councils would carry out most school inspections while a new body would be created to check up on schools if concerns had been raised.


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