Ofsted under pressure to scrap one-word school inspection judgements

Ofsted is coming under renewed pressure to remove its one-word judgements of schools as part of its on-going reforms following headteacher Ruth Perry’s death.

Last term, the inspectorate announced a series of small reforms to its existing practices and complaints procedures in response to growing anger over the impact of inspection on school staff.

An Ofsted consultation (2023) over some of these reforms closes on September 15. However, school leaders have already said that the proposed changes went “nowhere near far enough”.

The proposals include extending on-site dialogue during inspections, to “help address any issues at an early stage”, introducing a new opportunity for providers to contact a senior HMI the day after an inspection if they have concerns, new arrangements for formal challenges to inspection outcomes, and allowing complainants to escalate concerns to the Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted at an earlier point.

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