Ofsted launches consultation on inspection of independent schools

Ofsted have recently unveiled plans to ensure that ‘good’ is the only acceptable standard of education provided by non-association independent schools.

Ofsted’s National Director for Independent Schools, Matthew Coffey HMI, recently launched the consultation on changes to the inspection framework aimed at improving the quality of those independent schools Ofsted inspects.

Mr Coffey HMI said: “Parents, whatever their circumstances, want their children to access good quality education regardless of where they go to school. This is why we are changing the way we inspect independent schools to bring it in line with our other school inspections. Across the school sector that Ofsted inspects, only ‘good’ will be good enough. Therefore, we propose changing the adequate judgement to requires improvement. We believe this change will encourage independent schools to improve more quickly.

“All schools in England inspected by Ofsted should be judged in the same way and the same grade descriptors should apply equally to them all. We think this will provide clearer information for parents, carers and placing authorities, and allow them to compare schools more easily.”

Currently, the Ofsted framework for schools has the judgements, outstanding, good, adequate and inadequate. The consultation seeks views on changing the ‘adequate’ grade to ‘requires improvement.’ This grade will signify that even though a school may be meeting all the independent school standards, this is the minimum requirement. A school with this judgement may require improvement in order to become good.

This change will bring the inspection of independent schools in line with that of maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, academies and free schools.

The consultation proposes introducing improvement inspections to independent schools that have been judged requires improvement, with a full re-inspection within two years. The consultation is due to close on the 21 February 2014.

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Posted in Academies News.