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News - 25 November 2011

OFSTED: Ambitious schools not coasting schools

The Annual report from OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) says too many schools are failing to rise above the
"satisfactory" grade.

There are also concerns about teaching quality, which was no better than satisfactory in 41% of schools.

Ofsted's chief inspector Miriam Rosen said it was of "great concern" that so many
schools remained at this grade.

For the Government, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "There are still far too many underperforming schools making painfully slow improvements.

Regional variations

The fifth of schools in the poorest areas were four times as likely to have been assessed as "inadequate" by inspectors, compared with schools in wealthier areas. However the report also highlighted that 85 schools in the most deprived areas had received an "outstanding" grade.

Conversely, the report is the latest warning about the number of "coasting" schools, often in prosperous areas, where schools might achieve respectable results, but fail to stretch pupils.

The report says that 800 schools - 14% - have been judged as "satisfactory" in two successive inspections.

It suggests that when schools are judged as inadequate, it can often trigger rapid improvement, while satisfactory schools might stay at this level, lacking the ambition to rise higher. This "satisfactory" grade is above the point at which intervention is required, but below the higher grades of "good" and "outstanding".

Peter Ham Chief Auditor and Head of Schools and Charities at ABDS says:
“The report says that 800 schools - 14% - have been judged as "satisfactory" in two successive inspections, with 20% of schools being outstanding, 50% are good, 28% are satisfactory and only 2% are inadequate.”

OFSTED also looked at children's social care services, the annual report raises concerns about the most vulnerable children. It says nearly one in five local authorities (nine out of 47) inspected this year were inadequate, "meaning children were at risk". None were considered to be outstanding.

The new chief inspector for Ofsted - Sir Michael Wilshaw - will take up his post in January. Sir Michael has been head of Mossbourne Academy in east London.

To see the report go to http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/content

If you need any help and advice on Schools and or Charities, contact ABDS to discuss how we can help.
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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