Ofsted to check in on top schools under new plans


All schools in England will be subjected to Ofsted inspections, under new plans unveiled by the Department for Education.

Schools rated ‘outstanding’ were previously exempt – and have been since 2011 – while Ofsted has said the move will help to enhance standards across the sector.

Parents will then have access to up-to-date information on all schools, helping them to make informed choices about where to send their children.

The move from the Department for Education comes after Ofsted voiced concerns that rating may no longer be reflective of standards in a school if the premises had not been inspected for ten years or more.

When it was introduced by then education secretary Michael Gove, it aimed to provide more resources for underperforming schools.

According to the National Audit Office, there were more than 1,600 ‘outstanding’ schools in 2018 that had not been inspected for six years or more.

Around 300 schools were since inspected by Ofsted and had their rating lowered as a result, prompting the latest action.

The National Association of Head Teachers’ (NAHT) general secretary Paul Whiteman welcomed the decision to reintroduce inspections for all schools, especially in instances where staff have moved to new locations.

He explained that many of the schools are “completely different places” and that curriculum changes also need to be checked.

The Department for Education has also said that greater support from experienced leaders will be given to schools that require assistance to improve, while a new specialist academy trust is to be piloted in the north of England.

It is all part of government efforts to ensure that every child has the resources and teaching available to teach their potential.

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